WHO WE ARE
Georgia Healthcare Professionals for Reproductive Justice (GRJ) is a group of Georgia healthcare professionals—doctors, nurses, medical students, public health workers, PAs, PTs, hospital administrators, and more—committed to reproductive justice.
Evidence-based health and patient care
GRJ members are united by one shared, common goal: to promote and provide safe, ethical, and evidence-based medical care.
Our Journey So Far
May 3, 2022
DOBBS OPINION IS LEAKED TO THE MEDIA
In immediate response to the leaked Dobbs opinion by an anonymous SCOTUS source, a collection of Georgia healthcare workers organized an official response, drafting an open letter to the Georgia State Legislature to advocate for abortion care and evidenced-based medicine, with over 500 Georgia healthcare professionals as signatories.
June 3, 2022
On June 3, 2022—one month from the leak's release—our open letter was sent to all members of the Georgia Legislature.
Georgia is failing its moms and babies: how the closure of a Level 1 Trauma center and decision not to expand Medicaid will turn one of the deadliest states for pregnant people even more grim
September 27, 2022
Ariana Traub, MPH and Nell Mermin-Bunnell; second year medical students at Emory University School of Medicine and co-founders of Georgia Health Professionals for Reproductive Justice
Georgia has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the US. 75 of Georgia’s 159 counties do not have a single practicing Ob-Gyn. With the closure of AMC (one of only two Level 1 Trauma centers in metro-Atlanta), many pregnant patients will lose access to obstetrical care in the largest city in a state that is already unable to meet the needs of its pregnant patients. Statewide, 38 delivery units closed between 1994 and 2020, 6 of which were in Atlanta; we are about to lose another. With the closure of AMC and the recent restrictions on the ability of healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive reproductive services, Georgia will become even more deadly for pregnant people.
New limits on abortion access mean an increase in the number of people who continue their pregnancies and need postpartum care. Nearly 4 in 5 maternal deaths are preventable according to a new CDC study, with ½ of deaths occuring postpartum. While the proposed increase in coverage for up to 1 year after pregnancy is important, it is insufficient to prevent many of these adverse outcomes. Medicaid coverage for years prior to and after pregnancy is necessary to reduce these deaths.
Higher rates of untreated chronic conditions increase pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality. Many of the most common causes of maternal mortality, such as hypertension, diabetes, mental health conditions, and other cardiovascular conditions, require medical interventions before and long after pregnancy. Black patients, and in particular Black women, already suffer from more chronic disease and worse outcomes due to a combination of systemic barriers – of which lack of Medicaid expansion is a major contributor.
One quarter of pregnant Black and Hispanic women in Georgia report not having seen a doctor in a year or more prior to their pregnancy, and half of Hispanic women do not have a personal doctor or healthcare provider. Second only to Grady, AMC provided the most care to low income patients and patients of color. The loss of AMC will only perpetuate these systemic barriers and hurt pregnant patients, especially patients of low socioeconomic status, who are desperately in need of medical care.
Moreover, Georgia ranks 45th in the country for low birth weight babies. In Georgia, 14% of all Black infants are born low weight, often due to inadequate access to prenatal care and unmanaged chronic conditions, as a result of insufficient long term health coverage. Low birth weight babies have higher rates of infant mortality as well as chronic diseases if they make it to adulthood. Black babies are twice as likely to die as White babies in Georgia. AMC was a lifeline for many of these women and babies. Its closure will worsen birth outcomes, hurting those most vulnerable. These moms and babies deserve better.
Georgia is one of the deadliest states in the country to live as a pregnant person. Closure of AMC, in addition to not expanding Medicaid, will perpetuate this already devastating situation. This is an entirely avoidable tragedy. Political interference is costing the lives of countless pregnant people. This is not–and should not be–a political bargaining chip. This is life and death. Georgia needs Medicaid, we urge you to think about the lives that can be saved. Expand Medicaid now.