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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Report Shows Steep Decline in MA Maternal Health

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Friday, July 14, 2023   

Racial and gender inequities in Massachusetts have contributed to a steep decline in maternal health, according to a new report.

The Department of Public Health found that the number of mothers experiencing complications from pregnancy or delivery nearly doubled from 2011 to 2020 with severe morbidity rates for Black, non-Hispanic women now more than two-and-a-half times their white counterparts.

Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Robert Goldstein called the data "tragic."

"It is racism and not race that is driving a lot of the inequities that we are seeing in the data," she said, "and the solutions that we are proposing are really leaning in on that message."

Goldstein said his department is working with MassHealth and providers to help better train clinicians to consider how racism may impact their interactions with patients, as well as expand medical-school curriculum to include training on unconscious biases.

Massachusetts established a Maternal Health Task Force last year to help address some of the most critical gaps in direct maternal care, especially for low-income families. Goldstein said the goal is to create a statewide strategic plan to improve care in all communities.

"And we're thinking of ways that, through legislative funding, we can expand things like remote blood-pressure monitoring and the way that we implement levels of maternal care in various hospitals," she said.

Goldstein said it's critical the state be transparent with data exposing the racial and structural barriers preventing people from receiving the care they need, and most importantly to grow the public's trust in the health-care system.


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House Bill passed with an overwhelming vote of 94-6, with three abstentions. Its companion, Senate Bill 159, passed unanimously with a vote of 34-0. (Chad Robertson/Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

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The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…


Environment

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It's early in the season for wildfires in Nebraska, but dozens of firefighters have already been battling a large wildfire near North Platte for …

Social Issues

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A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…


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Environment

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By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Pub…

Environment

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By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …

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Social Issues

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As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …

Social Issues

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