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Report: Alabama ranks in bottom 10 for women’s health

Alabama is far above the national average for overall mortality of women ages 15-44.


Each year the Commonwealth Fund ranks the states’ health systems and this year added a new category: reproductive and women’s health care.

All states experienced large increases in avoidable deaths from 2019 to 2021,
due mostly to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the 12 indicators, Alabama is far behind on maternal and infant mortality, as well as overall mortality for women aged 15-44.

The national average for maternal mortality is 25.6 deaths per 100,000 live births. In Alabama, 43 women die in every 100,000 births. Meanwhile seven in every 1,000 infants die in Alabama births compared to 5.4 nationally.

The authors of the study point to several possibilities to better outcomes by expanding postpartum Medicaid coverage, funding community-based organizations nd more.

“It is disheartening to see the rising disparities in women’s health among states,” said Laurie C. Zephyrin, M.D., study coauthor and Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President for Advancing Health Equity. “Now, our country’s fractured landscape of reproductive health access will only make it more difficult to close these widening gaps, especially for women of color and women with low incomes in states that have restricted access to reproductive care. Instead of limiting care, states should work to ensure that women have access to the full continuum of care throughout their lives.”

Alabama notably has one of the strictest abortion bans in the country, forgoing exceptions even in cases of rape and incest. Alabama lawmakers have promised to work toward making the state a better place for women’s health care, adoption and more now that aborti0n is illegal.

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Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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