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October Spotlight – March of Dimes

Every month Feminist Book Club donates a portion of the proceeds of all sales to an non-profit organization. This month the organization that’s being featured is March of Dimes. The short video below gives you a brief primer of who they are, and where they come from.

March of Dimes has programs which parents-to-be and their babies by providing access to care, in-person and online education and support.:

Prenatal Education, Support, and Care;

NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) Initiatives;

Professional Education for Medical Staff;

Research (whether medical, scientific or social science based); and

Health Equity Initiatives.

Deeper Dive

I’d like to lift up the work that March of Dimes is doing as it relates to health equity. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the pregnancy related death rate in the United States has been trending upwards. Data collected from 2011 – 2016 showed that there were:

  • 42.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for Black parents.
  • 30.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for Native parents.
  • 14.1 deaths per 100,000 live births for Asian parents.
  • 13.0 deaths per 100,000 live births for white parents.
  • 11.3 deaths per 100,000 live births for Hispanic parents.

Considerable variability exists and there is more research happening to understand why a disparity exists. In 2018 the CDC reported that maternal death rates continued to be 3 to 4 times higher for Black parents than for white parents and are still increasing.

700 individuals die each year from pregnancy related complications.

Problems like this have complex explanations, but to quote from a 2018 study

“…nonetheless, scientific evidence indicates that unequal health care, socio-economic and racial inequalities pose significant health risks to pregnant women and their babies.”

Larger Relevance

In two short weeks, we’re going to go to the polls and vote for a new government.

A government which will determine if health care access and affordability is going to be expanded, or curtailed.

A government who has within its grasp the power to appoint judges up and down the bench that will allow bodily autonomy, or deny it.

A government who will have the opportunity to say every child deserves healthy parents, and a good start in life, or not.

But no matter how important this election is, and it is very important, we’ll continue to have the steady support of the March of Dimes and I hope they find themselves put out of business some day soon because they won’t be needed, but until then – we’ll continue to give them our support.

 

Natalia Santana is a compliance professional by day, and an activist, student and parent...also by day. Interested in the intersection of activism and education, her joy in life is taking complicated concepts and distilling them into easy to understand Twitter rants. Favorite genres: science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction books.

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