According to journalist Seth Klamann, writing in the Casper-Star Tribune and crunching the data available through the state’s Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, or PRAMS:
"Wyoming women who gave birth in 2017 reported high rates of depression before, during and after pregnancy, according to a new state report that also reveals the insurance and income-related issues facing mothers here."
"Nearly 18 percent of women who gave birth here in 2017 had a total household income of $16,000 or less, more than $40,000 below the median household income of the state. The data also shows that before pregnancy, more than 16 percent of women didn’t have insurance, a figure that dropped to 5 percent during pregnancy but jumped back to more than 16 percent again three months after birth."
"About 19 percent said they faced a cut in hours or pay at work while pregnant. More than 16 percent said they had bills they couldn’t pay."
According to Lorie Chesnut, an epidemiologist with the state Department of Health, which collected the data, “About 50 percent of pregnant women have financial stressors (in Wyoming)."
This is why we worked on the Wyoming Pregnant Worker Fairness Act during the last Legislative Session. This is why the Wyoming Women's Action Network also works on healthcare issues. This is why we advocate for Medicaid Expansion. This is why we advocate for efforts to raise the minimum wage. This is why we talk about the gender wage gap as an issue of women's economic security.
Our state's overall economic success depends on us connecting the dots between equal pay for equal work, access to healthcare (plus an integrated understanding of mental health as an essential component of overall health), and policies that support women and families. Join us as we continue to raise the profile of these important issues.