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Researchers point to lack of women's reproductive healthcare as an issue in Ohio

A woman at a gynocologist's visit [peakstock / shutterstock]
A woman at a gynocologist's visit [peakstock / shutterstock]

The hit PBS program "Call The Midwife" takes place in England, in the 1950s -- which makes sense, as the popularity and usage of midwives, particularly in this country, greatly shifted in recent decades.

The role of that midwife has always been to care for a women leading up to, during, and right after the birth of a child.

But how healthcare institutions are structured, how midwife licensure is obtained, and the importance on the midwife, has led to declining numbers in many places. That drop in numbers doesn't just exist in a vacuum - as researchers here in Ohio argue that it has real world effects of the availability, affordability, and safety of birthing care for women.

And the reduced number of midwives doesn't just matter here in Ohio - to put a larger perspective on that - The World Health Organization reported last year that there's a global shortage of roughly 900,000 midwives.

The WHO states that the shortage is a 'symptom of health systems not prioritizing the sexual and reproductive health needs of women and girls, and not recognizing the role of midwives – most of whom are women – to meet these needs'.

There is movement to address the problem at least here in Ohio, with a new bill proposed in the state legislature. Along with the bill proposal, there was testimony recently in Columbus at the Statehouse - today we will learn more about the need for more women's reproductive health care.

Later in the hour, we hear about NASA's effort to return to The Moon, and about a contest that is open to the public to help solve one of NASA's technical challenges.

Finally, we'll preview the Cleveland premier of an opera written by a local professor that pays tribute to the victims and heroes of the Holocaust. 

- Loren Anthes, Senior Fellow/William C. and Elizabeth M. Treuhaft Chair for Health Planning, The Center for Community Solutions

- Hope Lane-Gavin, Health Equity Fellow, The Center for Community Solutions

- Rob Button, Acting Chief of the Power Division, NASA Glenn Research Center

- Jon Mills, Classical Host, WCLV

- Cathy Lesser Mansfield, Composer, The Sparks Fly Upward

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.