NEW: Large Study Proves This State Is A Very Bad Place For Women

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The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, an independent nonprofit which studies the conditions and status of women in America, has released a report which finds that Alabama is the worst state in the South for women.

Sure to be denounced by the conservative politicians who have made the Heart of Dixie so hellish for poor women, especially women of color, the report gives Alabama Ds and Fs  in all seven categories that the IWPR studies: “political participation, employment and earnings, work and family, poverty and opportunity, reproductive rights, health and well-being, and violence and safety.”

According to the IWPR report, the South has the largest regional percentage of women living in poverty. If Congress passed a law requiring equal wages for equal work, it would cut the southern poverty rate in half. Alabama also has the lowest average wage for Hispanic women, the third-highest percentage of single mothers in poverty, and the smallest share of managerial and professional jobs for women.

The District of Columbia received the highest grade in the survey, while to no one’s surprise, Alabama and Mississippi were dead last. Not coincidentally, they are the only states in the union which apply their full sales tax to groceries.

That’s one example of how policies that hurt women also hurt their children. Alabama lags Lebanon in newborn mortality figures, has the longest wait time for agency response to reports of child abuse of any state, is one of the three worst states in the union for low birth weight, has terrible premature birth statistics, and is currently considered the worst place in America to have a baby.

According to the IWPR report, Alabama also has the lowest preschool participation rate in the entire region. Alabama women are also more likely to live with a disabled person, but the state does not give unemployment benefits to those who leave their jobs to take care of family members.

These dismal statistics reflect choices made by generations of conservative state lawmakers in both parties. Every year, politicians push unconstitutional anti-abortion legislation through Montgomery, then declare themselves ‘pro-woman,’ while neglecting the lives of women mired in poverty or afflicted by poor health.

There is no sign at this time that change is coming. At the current growth rate in which women take part in government, it will be more than a century before they achieve parity with men in the Alabama legislature.

The full report notes that poor women of color are especially disenfranchised by Alabama’s sinister bait-and-switch voter ID shenanigans. After passing a requirement to present photo ID at a polling location, Alabama lawmakers cleverly limited the hours of operation at 31 Department of Motor Vehicles offices to just one day a month. The shuttered locations are concentrated in rural, black-majority counties.

Unsurprisingly, all of these institutional barriers can be frustrating and limiting for women, causing depression and anxiety. “Alabama ranks last in the South and last in the United States for women’s mental health,” the report states. “Women in Alabama report that their mental health is not good an average of 5.5 days per month.” Suicide rates are also high.

While there are bright spots, such as higher-that-average rates of screening for HIV, cholesterol, diabetes, and other conditions, Alabama women are more likely to suffer cancer, obesity, and heart disease.

And whereas Alabama women are more likely to be imprisoned than in any other southern state except Kentucky, Alabama has no laws to confiscate guns from domestic partners charged or convicted of abuse. Other studies confirm the obvious point that abusers with guns are more likely to assault or intimidate their victims with one.