Immigrant Women Facing Maternal Health Struggles

Immigrant Women Facing Maternal Health Struggles

In a recent CNN piece, obstetrician Dr. Cristina Gamboa reveals her insights on trends in regards to her pregnant immigrant patients at the community health center Salud Para La Gente in Watsonville, California. She has noted that patients who are Mexican Immigrants seem to be suffering from increases in stress during their pregnancy. These increases have led to high blood pressure which can be further characterized as the condition preeclampsia. Stress can be a result of a multitude of factors, but Dr. Gamboa analyzes that America’s current political climate could be a root cause. It is considered a crime for someone to enter and stay in the United States without permission. Approximately 25% of unauthorized immigrants reside in California and 26.9% of the population in Watsonville are non-US citizens. Although there are no scientific studies connecting a woman’s immigration status and maternal health, Dr. Gamboa believes research is needed. There is, however, evidence pointing to a lack of general health...
Read More
Sharp Rise in C-Section Births Around the Globe

Sharp Rise in C-Section Births Around the Globe

A study recently published in The Lancet journal reveals that from 2000 to 2015 there has been approximately a double in the number of cesarean section (C-section) births in the world. C-section births occur when a surgery is performed to open a woman’s lower abdomen and remove the baby. These procedures can either be planned in advance or they can happen suddenly if problems occur during birthing. There are risks to C-section births for the woman, such as infection and postpartum heavy bleeding, and the baby, such as trouble breathing and injury. Additionally, C-sections create a more complicated labor recovery for the mother and pose a threat to future labor complications. The figures from the study state that in 2000 C-sections accounted for 12.1% of all births and in 2015 they accounted for 21.1% of all births. There is evidence published by the World Health Organization stating that there is "no justification for any region to have a caesarean section...
Read More
Burundi ban denies expectant teens their right to education

Burundi ban denies expectant teens their right to education

Burundi recently announced a ban that will prevent pregnant girls and expectant fathers from attending formal schooling, sparking immediate backlash from human rights groups and other advocates. In a letter to local educators and authorities, the east African nation's minister of education instructed that pregnant teens and young mothers, as well as the boys that impregnate them, would no longer be permitted to attend public and private schools. The students would, however, be allowed to receive vocational or professional training. Advocates have expressed opposition to the ban, arguing that the policy will disproportionately harm teenage girls as it will be difficult to identify and prove fatherhood. "How does the government prove that Boy A impregnated Boy B?" asked human rights lawyer Naitore Nyamu-Mathenge of gender justice organization Equality Now. "This ban disproportionately affects girls and it is skewed towards an abuse of the girls' rights to education," she said. Nyamu-Mathenge stressed the importance of girls' education, adding that denying girls education could lead to...
Read More
Refugees in Rwandan camp appeal for help with pregnancy prevention

Refugees in Rwandan camp appeal for help with pregnancy prevention

Refugees in Rwanda's Nyabiheke Refugee Camp have asked the government and other leaders to help reduce teen pregnancies in the camp. The camp, which has hosted Congolese refugees since 2005, is now home to nearly 17,000 refugees. Overcrowding is a key concern, and refugee representative Justin Byiringiro cites teen pregnancy as a driving force of the problem. "The overpopulation in the camp favors early [teen] pregnancies. Some students graduate from secondary schools but a very limited number are advancing to universities while others are dropping out of schools," he explained. While Byiringiro believes that vocational training programs will help prevent teen pregnancy, government officials are advocating for investment in family planning programs. Jeanne d’Arc De Bonheur, the Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, believes "reproductive health and family planning will surely be a durable solution to the issue." Organizations like the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) are supporting family planning in Rwandan refugee camps, but significant unmet need remains.   - Anna Katz, Communications...
Read More
Walgreens pharmacist denies woman medication to end unviable pregnancy

Walgreens pharmacist denies woman medication to end unviable pregnancy

Arizona resident and first grade teacher Nicole Arteaga took to Facebook after a Walgreens pharmacist refused to fill her prescription for misoprostol, a medication that can be used to end a failed pregnancy. Nine weeks into her pregnancy, Arteaga learned that there was no fetal heartbeat--her pregnancy would end in miscarriage. Rather than undergo a surgical procedure to remove the fetal tissue from her uterus, Arteaga opted to take misoprostol, which can end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks in what is known as a medical abortion. Her doctor wrote a prescription, but when Arteaga went to pick the medication up, the pharmacist refused to give her the misoprostol, citing his ethical beliefs. "I stood at the mercy of this pharmacist explaining my situation in front of my 7-year-old, and five customers standing behind only to be denied because of his ethical beliefs," Arteaga wrote in her post, which has since been shared over 60,000 times. "I left Walgreens in tears, ashamed...
Read More