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Pregnancy can kill. No one should be forced to give birth against their will

The Guardian – Jessica Valenti – Wednesday Aug 09, 2017

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Photo: ‘This is not just a political argument for me – it’s quite personal.’ Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian.

Marqwetta Johnson, a 42-year-old mother of seven, died in Oklahoma due to complications from ectopic pregnancy. Krystine Toledo-Gonzalez, a nurse in Georgia, passed away from a staph infection brought on by childbirth. Amy Bartlett, a spokeswoman for Yellowstone national park, died after giving birth to her third child from a heart condition brought on by pregnancy.

These women aren’t statistics or sad stories – they were people with lives and families and dreams. People who were loved and who are missed. These women’s names have been running through my mind for some time, since ProPublica published its incredible investigative project on maternal mortality in the United States.

But as Democratic leaders continue on their ill-advised abandonment of reproductive rights as a core issue for the party, these women’s faces and stories do more than just come to me occasionally. I cannot stop thinking about them, and about how easily those in positions of power forget.

The United States has the highest maternal mortality rate in the industrialized world, shameful proof of how little we value women’s lives and health: women in the US are more than three times as likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than Canadian women, and six times as likely to die as Scandinavian women.

Given this reality, given the risk associated with being pregnant and childbirth – how can we possibly expect women to take it on involuntarily? Yes, access to abortion is about “choice” and our bodies; and as Lindy West pointed out so eloquently in the New York Times, “there is no economic equality without the ability to terminate a pregnancy”. But there’s also something more fundamental at stake – our ability to live.

Everyone should be able to decide whether to put their health and lives at risk through pregnancy. Laws that limit access to birth control, emergency contraception and abortion make that impossible.

So when Democrats say that abortion shouldn’t be a litmus test for the party, what they are really saying is that women’s ability to choose life for themselves is up for debate. That it’s expendable. More horrifically, that we’re expendable.

Read entire article here

PS We all need socialized or free medical care now! We need to stop letting the insurance companies making decisions on our life’s.

Posted by Teri Perticone

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