Opinion: Listen: An organizer and a physician on how climate change will worsen maternal health inequities

The country is in a climate crisis. California is experiencing its second-largest fire, on the heels of its most severe wildfire season in modern history. The other side of the country endured two “once-in-a-lifetime” hurricanes within a matter of weeks, following a season with the most named storms on record. On any coast, one group hardest hit by climate-change disasters is pregnant people and their newborns.

That why the issue of climate change can’t be left to just climate scientists — every disaster has consequences that reverberate through the health care system, often acutely and disproportionately affecting people of color, particularly those who are pregnant, and the poor. This week, flood disaster coordinator Emily Mediate and OB-GYN physician Neel Shah discuss how climate change will wreak its worst havoc on the most vulnerable populations in the U.S.

“Maternal health is a bellwether for the well-being of society as a whole. And that is also why every type of injustice in our society shows up in the well-being of moms, whether it’s geographic injustice or racial injustice,” Shah said.

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The conversation stems from a First Opinion by Mediate and Shah, “A perfect storm: Climate disasters are magnifying the U.S.’s maternal health crisis.”

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Source: STAT