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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.

CDC: 1 in 5 Women in IL, US Report Mistreatment During Maternity Care

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Thursday, August 24, 2023   

Women from some racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to have negative health care experiences during pregnancy and delivery affecting quality of care and health outcomes.

A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found about 30% of Black, Hispanic, and multiracial women reported mistreatment, compared with 20% overall, while obtaining maternity care.

Shanna Cox, associate director for science in the division of reproductive health for the CDC, said many of the women surveyed reported similar experiences when visiting a hospital or a clinic.

"Receiving no response to requests for help, being shouted or scolded at, which can be termed as verbal abuse, not having their physical privacy protected and being threatened with withholding treatment or made to accept unwanted treatment," Cox outlined.

Cox pointed out mistreatment and discrimination have a direct effect on how women experience care. She noted Illinois women experienced mistreatment at a rate of 31 per 100,000 births, slightly lower than the national average of 33.

Cox noted they learned from the survey almost half of pregnant women said they shied away from asking questions or sharing concerns during their pregnancy or delivery. Many women said they were embarrassed to ask a question, felt their health care provider would think they were being difficult, or they did not feel confident they knew what they were talking about.

Cox stressed better communication is necessary.

"Some of this information was precipitated by some of the work that we do with the Hear Her campaign," Cox observed. "We hope to promote awareness of the urgent maternal warning signs and promote provider and patient communication."

She added health care systems need to provide respectful care, consider the patient's values, needs, and desires, and ensure patients are engaged in their health care and feel heard and respected.

"This is a component of quality care that's been highlighted as a strategy to reduce the disparities in pregnancy-related death as well as identify opportunities for support," Cox concluded.


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