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Conception: for Republicans, where life both begins, and ends

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Catherine Rampell points out that the line about how for Republicans life begins at conception and ends at birth isn’t entirely correct — it’s too charitable:

Conservative politicians are sometimes accused of being pro-life up until the point the baby is born. But perhaps even that assessment is too generous.

Unborn children are getting short shrift thanks to recent state and federal policy choices that have worsened access to prenatal care.

Take, for instance, a new Florida law championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) that forces hospitals that receive any Medicaid dollars to ask patients about their immigration status — even though undocumented women in the state are not on, and do not qualify for, Medicaid.

Predictably, the law has discouraged immigrants from accessing available care, including when pregnant. Providers and maternity-focused nonprofits in the state report that fewer immigrant women have shown up for medical checkups and prenatal care since the law went into effect last year. Some pregnant women have been reluctant to seek emergency care when in severe pain or facing complications for fear that their immigration status will be used against them, advocates report.

Even if the state is indifferent to the health of foreign-born women, it should at least feign an interest in their gestating, U.S.-citizen children.

Many states are also purging their Medicaid rolls, leaving new moms and infants without access to care, often because of paperwork mix-ups. Last year, Texas erroneously disenrolled thousands of pregnant womenstate whistleblowers claim.

Meanwhile, gridlock and obstructionism on Capitol Hill have taken a toll on the availability of critical maternal and fetal care.

Syphilis cases have soared in recent years, reaching their highest level since the 1950s. This has put both adults and their in-utero children at risk, as the disease can transfer from mother to baby through the placenta (known as congenital syphilis). The consequences for babies are severe: About 40 percent of babies born to women with untreated syphilis are stillborn or die as a newborn, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Others suffer from bone damage, anemia and nerve problems causing blindness or deafness, among other complications.

I’m beginning to think that the party that is fanatically committed to taking health insurance away from tens of millions of people to pay for upper-class tax cuts is not, in fact, going to pivot to maternal and parental care because Roe v. Wade was overruled.

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