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Maternity Desert: 1/3 of women in Tennessee live in one

1/3 of women in Tennessee don't have adequate access to healthcare. 35.8% of women in Tennessee don't have access to obstetrics care. Imagine what 2023 data will look like (if that is even shared). The simple fact is that a State without access to healthcare is a State that will suffer a reduction in population growth and attract less families. The latest data, 2022, shows 34 counties in Tennessee are considered maternity deserts. A maternity desert is defined as a county where no hospitals provide obstetric care, no birth centers, no OB/GYN, or no certified nurse midwives.

In 2019, TN was ranked 44th in the nation on prenatal care before the third trimester. Again, imagine what it's like as more rural hospitals have closed mother-baby units, as doctors leave the state and new ones refuse to come to a state where they might lose their license for providing healthcare. It's going from bad to worse as data gathered recently by The Mayor's Women's Council on Health in Chattanooga, a larger city in Tennessee, revealed. Polled doctors in Chattanooga revealed that 1/3 are considering leaving the state because of the Trigger ban.

If women in Tennessee live in a "1st World Country", why do they have maternity deserts? The elephant in the room would point to Tennessee having one of the strictest laws in the nation regarding abortion. One can only imagine it might improve if politics were removed from women's OB/GYN appointments. When doctors are empowered to make decisions based on the health of their patient over a politicians opinions, lives are saved.

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