Safe Pregnancy
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Change to State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Expands Rights to the Fetus Recently released regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services will classify the fetus as an "unborn child" and expand coverage to "an individual in the period between conception and birth up to age 19." This new regulation was published by DHHS on October 2, 2002 and went into effect on November 1, 2002. The Center for Reproductive Rights wholeheartedly supports efforts to expand access to pregnancy-related care. However, the proposed amendment to SCHIP to extend the plan to cover fetuses while ignoring the health needs of pregnant women is fraught with legal and practical problems.

HIV/AIDS: Mother-to-Child Transmission Overlooks Mother While decreasing the mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HIV is an important goal—an estimated 540,000 infants were infected by their mothers during pregnancy, childbirth or through breastfeeding in 2000—most MTCT prevention efforts have focused on the potential danger of HIV infection to the fetus, not the mother. "HIV-infected pregnant women have received a great deal of attention," reads a report from the AIDS Office of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, "but this has mostly been focused on their role in preventing transmission to their offspring. Less attention has been given to these women as women."

Maternal Health: Implications for Children and Adolescents (PDF) Deaths and injuries to women due to complications during pregnancy and delivery and after childbirth threaten not only the lives and health of mothers, but also their newborns and older children. For adolescent women, pregnancy and early childbearing often pose special health risks. Over 500,000 women die each year from pregnancy-related causes (about 1,600 per day or more than 1 death per minute), and pregnancy-related complications cause life-long injury to millions more. 99 percent of these deaths are in developing countries, where complications from pregnancy and childbirth on average take the lives of 1 out of every 48 women.

State Children's Health Insurance Program
Testimony Submitted to the Senate

Pregnant Women's Rights
Ferguson v. City of Charleston

Punishing Women for their Behavior During Pregnancy
HIV/AIDS: Reproductive Rights on the Line
Unborn Victims of Violence Act

10/18/02 - Court Upholds Rights of Pregnant Women
5/3/02 - Reproductive Health Crisis for Zimbabwean Adolescents In the Spotlight at UN Special Session on Children

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