Does Mississippi Really Care About Fetuses, New-borns, and Children?

Here are some shocking statistics from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation about the health status of nursing mothers, fetuses, newborns, and children in the state of Mississippi.

The state is ranked…

  • 50th in infant mortality rates (2005-2007).
  • 51st in its teen birth rate (2008).
  • 51st for preterm births (2008).
  • 51st for births of low birthweight (2008).
  • 46th in the percent of children (0-17) who had both a medical and dental preventive care visit in the past 12 months (2007).
  • 51st in child deaths (1-14) per 100,000 children (2007).
  • 50th in rate of teen deaths (15-19) per 100,000 teenagers (2007).

The good news is that Mississippi ranked 8th in percent of children age 19-35 months who are immunized (2010).

Doctor Science has this to say about the thinking behind Mississippi’s recent (and failed) “personhood” ballot initiative, which would have amended the state’s constitution to confer personhood on a fertilized egg:

The most charitable interpretation I can come up with is that Mississippians feel hopeless to save the lives of many children they actually have, so they’re distracting themselves by trying to define, and then save, invisible children.

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