Chelsea Clinton on the link between democracy and women’s health

JFor pundits, the midterm election was supposed to be a referendum on inflation. They predicted a massive red wave, with Republicans sweeping the Senate and House. It didn’t happen – and for Chelsea Clinton, it just showed the disconnect between their take and the reality for voters.

For many Americans, “protecting a woman’s basic human right and agency as well as our democracy were the most important considerations when voting,” Clinton said during a panel on abortion care on Tuesday. at the top of the STAT. “I would like to establish that there is of course a connection between supporting our democracy and ensuring that women can participate fully in the civic and social life of our country.

Kristyn Brandi, an obstetrician-gynecologist from New Jersey, has vivid memories of the day the Dobbs decision was made. She was receiving text messages and calls from other abortion care providers across the country. “They were providing care for a minute and all of a sudden they had to stop,” she said. Even in her own state, she says, she often gets calls from patients, asking if abortion is legal. “There’s just mass confusion, even in places where there are no restrictions,” she said.

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This confusion – and the changing landscape of care – comes amid a maternal mortality crisis. “In the United States today, you’re about 50% more likely to die in childbirth than your mother,” said Neel Shah, chief medical officer of Maven Clinic, a telemedicine company focused on women’s and women’s health. the family, adding that the Dobbs decision would undoubtedly worsen these shameful statistics.

He said American companies don’t like to be at the forefront of issues they see as politically divisive, such as abortion, but are very concerned about pressure from their employees. That’s why many have started approaching Maven for the option of adding abortion care to benefits. For example, they have started offering a travel allowance to those who have to travel elsewhere for treatment. “Before Dobbs, it took an average of about 30 minutes to get to a place that could provide abortion care,” he said. “Now it’s 100 minutes on average, and in some places it’s much longer than that.”

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Those distances are getting even greater as doctors begin to leave states with restrictions on abortion care, panelists said. As Brandi explained, she is an obstetrician, which means she provides abortion care, but also many other important medical services, and if she were to leave her community, it would create a larger, just expand the maternity care deserts in this country. . “It’s really heartbreaking to have the skills, to have the knowledge, and not be able to provide the care that you know is best for the person in front of you,” Brandi said.

She is especially worried about the interns. The residency matching system doesn’t give you a choice: once you’ve matched with a program, you have to do your residency there. “A lot of people are hesitant … to rank places that are in the South,” she said, because they fear they won’t be able to get the training they need.

“While I hate that it’s being fought in the political arena, that’s where we need to have this fight,” said Clinton, who described herself as a Church American who doesn’t want to see her own religious beliefs. pushed on others. “Until we codify abortion rights federally, abortion is on the ballot in every election,” she said. This means showing up to vote on a note only for the president and the house and senate representatives, but for your local sheriff, your county commissioner.

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