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

Toh pundits, the mid-term elections were supposed to be a referendum on inflation. They predicted a huge red wave, with Republicans sweeping the Senate and House. That didn’t happen — and to Chelsea Clinton, it just showed the difference between their views and the reality for voters.

For many Americans, “protecting a woman’s basic human right and freedom of action and our democracy were the most important considerations when they voted,” Clinton told a panel on abortion care Tuesday at the STAT Summit. “I would like to establish that there is, of course, a link between supporting our democracy and ensuring that women can participate fully in the civic and social life of our country.”

Christine Brandi, an OB/GYN in New Jersey, has vivid memories of the day Dobbs’ decision was made. She received texts and calls from other abortion providers across the country. “They were caring for a minute and suddenly they had to stop,” she said. Even in her own state, she said 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 percent more likely to die in childbirth than your mother,” said Neil Shah, chief medical officer of Maven Clinic, a telemedicine company focused on women’s and family health, adding that Dobbs this decision would undoubtedly make this shameful statistic even worse.

He said corporate America doesn’t like being on the cutting edge of issues they see as politically divisive, like abortion, but is very concerned about pressure from their employees. That’s why many began approaching Maven about the possibility of adding abortion care to benefit packages. For example, they have started to provide a travel allowance for those who have to go elsewhere to seek care. “Before Dobbs, it took about 30 minutes on average to drive to a place that could provide abortion care,” he said. “Now it’s an average of 100 minutes, and in some places it’s a lot more than that.”

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Those distances are getting wider as doctors begin to leave states with restrictions on abortion care, the panelists said. As Brandi explained, she’s an OB-GYN, 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 wider, only widen, wilderness of maternity care. 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.

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

“As much as I hate that this is being fought in the political arena, this is where we have to fight this battle,” said Clinton, who described herself as a church-going American who does not want to see her own religious beliefs forced on others. . “Until we codify abortion rights at the federal level, abortion is on the ballot in every election,” she said. That means showing up to vote, not only for the president and representatives in the house and senate, but also for your local sheriff, your county commissioner.

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