These days, many of us take healthcare for granted. We know, especially when it’s time to give birth, that we are in good care in the United States and don’t have to worry like women in third-world countries.
But recently, horror stories have cropped up throughout the poorest parts of the US, especially in southern states like Georgia. Here, doctors’ negligence is rampant in hospitals that care for mainly minority populations. One obstetrician-gynecologist working in southwest Georgia recalled the women she’d see, like 12-year-olds giving birth and others going into labor after giving birth only a few months prior.
In general, birth control education is not well taught in these parts, nor is sex education. The CDC reported that between 2000 and 2006, the number of HIV-positive women giving birth in the US increased about 30%. Giving birth with HIV is damanging for the child—stillbirths, damaged organs, and other complications are likely results.
Aside from dealing with chronic health issues, women in this region of the US suffer from extreme poverty, many without running water. Though we may be quick to offer medical help to impoverished nations abroad, we should think twice, as women and families are suffering just as terribly right here at home.
Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock.