ICYMI: Georgia Ranked Among Worst States to Have a Baby

March 5, 2024

As reported by WSB-TV, The annual March of Dimes report card on maternal and infant health gave Georgia a failing grade, making it among the riskiest states in the nation to give birth.

The March of Dimes report highlighted lack of access to maternity care as a principal reason for the failing grade, noting the recent wave of rural hospital closures and the fact that half of Georgia’s 159 counties have no practicing OB-GYN. They also note that expanding Medicaid would go a long way toward addressing Georgia’s shortcomings in these areas.

“Governor Kemp’s failure to expand Medicaid costs lives, full stop,” said DPG spokesperson Alex Yerkey. “Democrats have been saying for years that we need better access to OB-GYNs, we need to keep rural hospitals open, we need to close the health equity gap. Objective, third-party experts like the March of Dimes clearly back that up. All we need is Governor Kemp and Republicans to finally reach the same conclusion and take decisive action on behalf of Georgia families.”      

Read the story from WSB-TV below:

WSB-TV: Georgia among one of the riskiest states to have a baby, agency says

Wendy Corona; 3/4/2024

  • The March of Dimes report card gives Georgia and most of the southeastern U.S. a failing grade when it comes to infant mortality.
  • The March of Dimes gives Georgia an “F” on pre-term birth rates, which are any births before 37 weeks.
  • Since 2016, Georgia has had a pre-term birth rate of more than 11%. Black babies are 1.5 times more likely to be born pre-term than all other babies. They also have the highest death rate at 10.86 per one thousand births in the United States.
  • The director of maternal and child health collective impact for the March of Dimes, Tama Mason, told Corona the data cannot be ignored. “Access to care is definitely a huge reason why we see that failing grade,” Mason said.
  • Half of Georgia’s 159 counties do not have an OB-GYN. Add onto that the hospital closures across the state; maternity care deserts are growing. “March of Dimes has also been saying we need to close the health equity gap,” Mason said.
  • Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia have fully expanded Medicaid. Georgia has not. It’s an issue Georgia lawmakers recently spoke about at the State Capitol. “It is a medical emergency in our state that continues to happen, and it is completely preventable,” state Rep. Ruwa Romman, D-Gwinnett County, said.


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