- In a campaign speech over the weekend, Stacey Abrams said that Georgia was “the worst state in the country to live.”
- Abrams cited the state’s number one spot for maternal mortality, low wages, low levels of mental health access, and high incarceration rate.
- Georgia sits last in all of those national rankings.
In a campaign speech over the weekend in Gwinnett County, Stacey Abrams, said that Georgia was “the worst state in the country to live,” citing the state’s number one spot for maternal mortality and low levels of mental health access.
“I’m tired of hearing about being the best state in the country to do business, when we are the worst state in the country to live,” Abrams said. “When you’re number 48 for mental health. When you’re number one for maternal mortality. When you have an incarceration rate that is on the rise and wages that are on the decline then you are not the number one place to live in the United States. But we can get there, Gwinnett (County).”
Abrams’, the Democratic nominee in Georgia’s race for governor, comments about Georgia leading the nation in maternal mortality are correct. Georgia is the most dangerous state in the country to give birth, according to the CDC data.
But it is not exclusive to just maternal mortality.
Georgia is toward the bottom in mental health services access, as well as healthcare access and coverage. The minimum wage in the state hasn’t risen in over a decade. It is still in line with the federal $7.25 an hour. These issues especially impact people of color.
Maternal mortality has been on the rise in recent years
While the United States leads the developed world in maternal mortality, Georgia’s rates have been on the rise in recent years.
Black and Indigenous women are two to three times more likely to die due to pregnancy-related causes. In Georgia, those rates are higher than the national average. Black women are 3.3 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes in the state.
The US’s high levels of maternal mortality are multifaceted. There’s racial bias in the healthcare system and among health professionals as well as a lack of healthcare access, coverage, and maternity providers such as midwives and doulas.
A woman’s wealth or social-economic status is not necessarily a shield for them. Serena Williams has written extensively about her experience with pulmonary embolism and blood clots when she was giving birth to her daughter, Alexis.
“Every mother, everywhere, regardless of race or background deserves to have a healthy pregnancy and birth, Williams wrote in an essay in 2018.
Ranks 48 in mental health access, providers and health coverage
According to a Georgia State University report, Black people were almost twice as likely as whites to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, but they were significantly less likely to receive medication for treatment.
“It’s concerning that we saw a higher rate of diagnosis of schizophrenia and seemingly an undertreatment in terms of pharmacotherapy for that group,” said Ashli A. Owen-Smith, co-author of the report said to Georgia State University.
High rates of uninsured people
Because Georgia hasn’t expanded Medicaid, it is ranked last in healthcare coverage. 12% of adults in Georgia are uninsured.
Georgia is one of 17 non-expansion states. According to a study by the University of Southern California, of the 32 Medicaid expansion states and the 17 non-expansion states, Medicaid expansion was associated with nearly 12 fewer deaths per 100,000 US adults annually.