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New Report: Racial Disparities in Maternal Health U.S. Commission on Civil Rights 2021 Statutory Enforcement Report

17 Sep 2021 2:13 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

Racial Disparities in Maternal Health -U.S. Commission on Civil Rights-2021 Statutory Enforcement Report (9.15.2021)

Excerpt from the report: 

Dr. Joia Crear-Perry, Founder and President of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, testified to the Commission about some of the causes of racial disparities in maternal health outcomes, writing that:

We know the root causes of poor maternal health—racism and gender oppression inside of healthcare systems and every other facet of society. Women of color are more likely to experience a comorbid illness and report being unfairly treated within healthcare settings based on their race or ethnicity. The inequities that Black women face have become even more urgent as the pandemic and civil unrests show the many ways racism can kill,  whether from COVID, police brutality or hemorrhaging during childbirth. 26  Each year, nearly 700 women in the U.S. die due to complications of pregnancy or delivery  either during their pregnancy or within one year of the end of their pregnancy.27 A woman today  is “50 [percent] more likely to die in childbirth than her own mother was.”28

During the Commission’s briefing in November 2020, Associate Director for Science in the Division of Reproductive Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Shanna Cox testified that:

[T]he pregnancy-related mortality ratio in the U.S. is not decreasing, and given these  deaths are largely preventable, these numbers are absolutely unacceptable. Considerable racial disparities exist, with Black and Native women two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than White women.29 25

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