Health and Education

Let’s improve South Carolina’s pregnancy-related death rates 

by Demetria Mosley on Jan 24, 2024

Addressing the issue of pregnancy-related deaths in our state requires all of us to admit a hard truth: South Carolina must adapt if its residents are to have a home state that is safe and thriving 

As WREN advocates for various rights and freedoms in our state, we must all be willing to confront some of the harsh realities that birthing people face here. We cannot build a positive future for our communities if things like pregnancy-related death, or increased maternal mortality are common. 

Currently, birthing people in the Palmetto State experience pregnancy-related deaths that are 47%  higher than the national average. For every 100,000 live births in the state, there are around 37 pregnancy-related deaths, according to the South Carolina Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee. The birth of a child should NOT be accompanied by the unexpected death of its parent.  

In 14 of South Carolina’s 46 counties, there are no practicing OB-GYN doctors. This means medically necessary healthcare isn’t accessible to a lot of families. If we want to see our communities, families, and children prosper, we have to take action as a unified voice. Too often, we see the consequences of inadequate healthcare, social inequality, and systemic neglect perpetuate the cycle of maternal mortality. But here’s the empowering truth: communities have the power to change this reality when we work united. Together, we can create a more equitable and compassionate healthcare system by speaking up about issues and advocating for policy changes.   

A commitment to change  

Last year, the Reproductive Health Rights Act was introduced in the Senate as a bold commitment to improving the health and lives of people in our state. This policy would repeal existing restrictions on abortion care and affirm the rights to contraception, in vitro fertilization, sex education, and all other forms of reproductive health care. 

 If passed, this act would significantly decrease our state’s pregnancy-related death rates by ensuring that all pregnant people in South Carolina have access  to high-quality healthcare during pregnancy, childbirth, and for at least one year after childbirth, regardless of their insurance plan coverage or ability to pay. Our strength is our greatest asset, and, through continued community organizing, activism, and advocacy, we can help create a South Carolina where everyone who wants to has the opportunity to experience pregnancy with dignity and without fear. 

Let us stand united and take action together to support the Reproductive Health Rights Act. This is a health care bill we need. Click here to tell your legislators to support enhancing the welfare of people in our state.  

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