Oct. 13 (UPI) — Women living in states with less restrictive reproductive rights policies are 7% less likely have low birth weight babies than those living in states with more stringent laws, according to an analysis published Tuesday by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
The risk was 8% lower for Black women living in less-restrictive states, the data showed.
“Our study provides evidence that reproductive rights policies play a critical role in advancing maternal and child health equity,” study co-author May Sudhinaraset, of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, said in a statement.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, which effectively legalized abortion, states have had “substantial discretion” in creating policies governing whether Medicaid covers the costs of contraception or reproductive health care.
Some states have taken steps that effectively limit access to abortion services and other reproductive care, Sudhinaraset and her colleagues