Archive for October, 2008

U.S. Infant Mortality Ranking [Updated]

courtesy Consoling Parents connectionNewly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 6.71 infants per 1,000 births died in 2006, a rate that’s down slightly from the 2005 rate of 6.86 per 1,000, but not enough to indicate improvement, reports the CDC. The rate hasn’t really budged since the year 2000, reports the L.A. Times: “Premature birth and low birth weight are by far the biggest causes of infant death.” And while it’s true that more women are giving birth to twins and triplets resulting from fertility treatment, and these babies are more likely to be born premature, “even accounting for those trends, premature births are increasing.” In an editorial today, the New York Times writes that the causes of infant mortality are complex: “Some researchers blame an increase in premature births, many by Caesarean section. The chief lesson we draw is that the American health care system, despite the highest expenditures in the world, is badly in need of an overhaul.” Among industrialized countries, the U.S. ranks 29th in infant survival.

Incarcerated and Pregnant, But No Longer Laboring in Shackles

This good news from The Rebecca Project:

“US Marshals agreed to end the routine use of restraints on incarcerated pregnant mothers during labor, delivery, and immediate post delivery.  The US Marshals have also reformed the type of restraints to be used on pregnant mothers during transports.  Any restraint that constricts the belly region of the pregnant offender will be prohibited.

In the US Senate Judiciary Committee report for the committee passage of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) reauthorization, language included the prohibition of restraints and shackles on pregnant girls in the juvenile detention centers.”