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March of Dimes Reports Increase in Georgia's Preterm Birth Rates

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The U.S. is one of the worst places to have a baby, among developed nations. That’s according to The March of Dimes, which recently released its annual State by State findings on infant and maternal health in the nation. While the entire nation received a “C,” the situation was much worse in Georgia, with the state receiving an “F.”

“In Georgia the preterm birth rate is 11.7%, that is actually up from 11.5% the year before.”

And according to Stacey Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes, the numbers are even more troubling for Black women and babies.

“One of the biggest drivers of the increase this year is the fact that rates are actually getting worse among women of color and babies of color, so the preterm birth rate, for example, in Georgia is 14.2%, as compared to white women at 10%.”

Unfortunately, she says there’s a long history of inequity in the state.

“I think one of the things we have to acknowledge in Gerogia and some other states is that adequate, accessible, high quality healthcare has been denied, was denied even post-slavery and many years into the twentieth century even, and what we’re experiencing now are the results of a long legacy of a denial of adequate health coverage.”

Stewart says states that expanded Medicaid did see improvement in their numbers. For more information on the agency’s effort to reverse the numbers, visit MarchofDimes.org.

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