Ohio’s Infant Mortality Rate Is Lower than Russia’s, Serbia’s, and Cuba’s, and Lawmakers Are Not Helping

May 5, 2016 | Crandall & Pera Law
Ohio’s Infant Mortality Rate Is Lower than Russia’s, Serbia’s, and Cuba’s, and Lawmakers Are Not Helping

Ohio is ranked 45th in the nation for infant mortality. The only states that ranked worse included Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas and West Virginia. That shouldn’t make anyone feel better, however. Ohio is a first-rate state in first-world country, but ranks behind Russia, Serbia and Cuba in infant mortality. Clearly, something is very wrong.

The scope of the issue

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published final data for 2013 in a February edition of the National Vital Statistics Report. According to that report, about 1,000 infants die each year in Ohio because of birth complications. The deaths aren’t spread evenly around the state; Southwest Ohio is has a higher rate of infant mortality, and the deaths are disproportionately greater in low-income communities.

According to Cincinnati.com, “The numbers are shocking and ‘unacceptably high,’ said Rep. Stephanie Kunze, R-Hilliard. Ohio's state-run, low-income health insurance, Medicaid, pays for more than half of all births, and those babies are more likely to be premature and have a low birth weight.”

Low-income mothers on Medicaid often receive poorer care, and multiple successive births increase the risk of premature delivery, which in turn increases the risk of complications, injuries, and birth defects. All of these factors contribute to Ohio’s poor infant mortality rate, but there is one possible solution.

A free solution

Medicaid will pay for a contraceptive implant. The implants, known as long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), can prevent unplanned pregnancy or help to increase the time between deliveries. Unfortunately, not all hospitals offer the option on moral grounds, and most women are unaware that Medicaid will pay for the implant in full thanks to Obamacare.

Lawmakers in Ohio are as divided on the issue as the rest of the country. Senator Shannon Jones, R-Clearcreek Township, wants to change the way Medicaid reimburses healthcare organizations for contraceptives. However, whether her proposed legislation will see the light of day is another matter entirely.

From the same article, “...contraception is a political hot potato, especially among Jones' fellow Republicans. Some believe abstinence is the only effective and moral form of birth control. Others don’t want to pay for contraception that would allow people to have sex outside of marriage. And the Catholic Church opposes any form of contraception, period. ‘This isn’t an easy topic to talk about,’ Jones said of LARC. ‘I just don’t think they know about it. Some of these topics are seen as taboo.’

Whatever your position on the issue, it can no longer be taboo to discuss. Families are being affected forever because of birth injuries and complications, and the state of infant care in Ohio is a topic that must be addressed as soon as possible. Birth complications change lives, and not for the better.

If you or a loved one suffered complications during birth, you may be entitled to compensation for injuries your or your baby sustained. The experienced Ohio birth injury lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law can evaluate your case and help get you the confirmation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.