Professor: Reproductive justice at stake across Northwest Indiana

Reproductive justice is a big issue in Indiana, according to Colette Morrow, director of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.  

“Indiana has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality among African American and Black women in the U.S. and Lake County has the highest rates in Indiana,” she said. “Thus, in our region, reproductive justice entails creating conditions for Black and African-American women to give birth safely.

“And, of course, reproductive justice also encompasses the experiences of transgender people by demanding that they have access to gender affirming health care,” she said.

The World Population Review reports that Indiana’s maternal mortality rate is 43.6 per 100,000, making it the third-highest in the country. 

The Indiana State Department of Health has announced plans to survey every birthing and delivery facility in the state to make sure they meet new rules, such as requiring at-risk moms to deliver at facilities that have appropriate technology, equipment, and personnel on hand to manage these emergencies. 

The state has announced that it will hire nurses, midwives and advanced practice nurses to help provide prenatal care in rural areas.