Local women’s clinic braces for influx of expecting mothers

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 9:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - One non-profit women’s health clinic fears how Mississippi’s abortion ban will affect poor, uninsured, and underinsured expecting mothers.

“Mississippi is simply saying we want to force women into having babies because we think it’s wrong religiously. I am saying Mississippi needs to do a whole lot more if Mississippi really believes that it is pro-life.”

Sisters in Birth’s CEO Getty Israel didn’t hold back her frustration when talking about the recent decision from the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade.

“You will just see more women and children falling through the cracks,” said Israel.

While the abortion battle rages on in court here in the state, Israel is focusing on how to increase funding so her non-profit can help provide clinical health services to more expecting mothers in need.

Sisters in Birth is a women’s health clinic that is staffed with a certified nurse-midwife. It utilizes an integrative and holistic approach to women’s healthcare. It offers free pregnancy tests, doula support, childbirth education, and postpartum care.

“We see ourselves as intervening to prevent conditions that we know lead to poor health and birth outcomes, which is the reason why Mississippi has the worst numbers every year. We want to make sure everyone who becomes pregnant in Mississippi has what she needs to be healthy to raise the baby.”

Sisters in Birth is also raising money to build a Birth Center in Hinds County. It will be the first of its kind in the state.

“We will serve women from around the state. We will also build a guesthouse, and the guest house will allow women who are coming from maternity desert who wants to come here to get care, she will have a place to stay overnight,” Israel said. “A birth center has a concern for a woman’s reproductive health.”

While her team continues to help as many women as they can, more resources and financial support are needed.

She also points out that with the overturning of Roe v. Wade and Mississippi’s unwillingness to expand Medicaid, the combination will negatively contribute to the already high maternal and infant mortality rates, especially among Black mothers.

“Republicans who have been fighting for this to happen for a long time did not take into consideration the unintended consequences, or maybe they did. I think the unintended consequences will be now you have all these pregnant women, most of whom qualify for Medicaid, but you won’t expand Medicaid, and you won’t extend Medicaid postpartum benefits for women. So, what do you plan to do with all of these pregnant women? Where are they going to go to get services?”

For more information about the Sisters in Birth future birth center and how you can help, visit https://www.sibirth.org/

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