Practicing Faith from Edge of the Inside

But if you are both inside and outside, you are the ultimate threat, the ultimate reformer and the ultimate invitation. -- Fr. Richard Rohr

World Prematurity Day – More Issues of Life

Healthcare remains in the news. The effects of a lack of insured women prompt many in poverty to consider abortion an option. Many advocates hoping to curb the need for abortion do not spend a great deal of time talking about the effects of poverty. Were more to see the relationship between abortion and poverty we might see poverty figure more prominently in conservative political platforms.

Oklahoma is going the wrong direction when it comes to insuring women according to the recent report card on prematurity provided by the March of Dimes. It is hard to see how Oklahoma will reach its pledge of an 8% rate of premature births by  2014.

Today is World Prematurity Day. The United States ranks 131st in the world for premature births. It is hard to imagine that the most industrialized country in the world lags anyone when it comes to premature births.

One wonders what is the correlation between teen pregnancy and premature births. Compare Iowa with Oklahoma. Iowa graded out with a “B” while Oklahoma was one of the seven states with a “D.” In 2010 Oklahoma recorded 6,496 teen births compared to 3,017 in Iowa. Red state. Blue State.

The matter gained importance for us in 2010. Cohen Alan was born eight weeks early on August 2. We spent one month visiting the neonatal unit at University Hospital. Today there are still a few remnants of his early arrival. But, we have little doubt that in a few short years he will give evidence that he will grow into his hands and his feet. If he does, he will be at least as tall as his Dad.

We are glad for the skill and advances made. We hope they continue. Working to increase the number of insured women and reduce the number of pregnant women who smoke will help decrease the number of at risk births. For us this is another issue of life.

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