A jarring new study adds to the body of scientific literature that shows that immigrant mothers under attack by incendiary political rhetoric and policies are more likely to experience pregnancy complications.
As recently reported in the Huffington Post, Harvard researchers determined that premature births among Latinx women in New York City increased from 7.7 percent before Donald Trump became a presidential nominee to 8.2 percent after his inauguration. The study concluded that “severe socio-political stressors may contribute to increases in the risk of PTB [preterm birth] among targeted populations.”
“When you induce fear, and fear is induced selectively and targeted at groups, those groups can experience lots of different kinds of adverse health outcomes,” Nancy Krieger, professor of Social Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and lead author of the study, told the Huffington Post.
Similarly, last year, the Washington Post wrote about a study that examined the effects of a 2008 immigration raid on a meat processing plant in Iowa where 389 workers were detained. Researchers determined that Latinx mothers in Iowa exhibited a 24 percent greater risk of their babies being born with low birth weight as compared to the same period in the year prior. The study did not reveal any corresponding change in the birth-weight of babies born to non-Latinx white mothers.
And, as previously reported by Long Island Wins, the effects of even a proposed rule change to public charge is having a huge impact on Long Island’s immigrant community. One local agency reported 200 fewer Latinx applicants for nutritional support this year, in light of fear and anxiety over ever-shifting policy changes.
The research illustrates how an anti-immigrant agenda is impacting both the physical and mental well-being of immigrants, their families, as well as those not yet born.