Racism in US threatens black moms, infants

Data suggests black women almost four times as likely to die during pregnancy or birth than white women

Vakkas Doğantekin   | 13.02.2019
Racism in US threatens black moms, infants


By Dildar Baykan


The economic and social gap between whites and blacks in the U.S. causes black mother-infant deaths to be significantly higher than whites.

Approximately 700 to 900 women die each year from pregnancy or birth-related complications, according to data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Data suggests black women are almost four times more likely to die during pregnancy or birth than white women.

While the mortality rate of white women is 12.7 per 100 thousand, the rate is 43.5 per 100 thousand in black women.

According to the data, in the first year of life of black babies, the death rate is 11.3 per thousand but 4.9 per thousand in white babies.

Experts point out that racism is the biggest reason for this problem.

The non-governmental National Partnership for Women and Families in Washington in its report on health challenges faced by black mothers revealed last year that racism is the largest cause of death, as well as the health system and poverty.

Seventy-five percent of black women give birth in hospitals in their home areas.

The fact that these hospitals are of lower quality than those in white areas leads to higher rates of deaths of mothers and babies.

Experts argue that social racism has led to long-standing prejudices reflected in health care, and it has led to the loss of lives, even for black women with the best opportunities.

"Real corporate and structural racism is a huge burden on the lives of our black patients," Sanithia L. Williams, a member of the Physicians for Reproductive Health, told The New York Times.

Nonprofits are working to get authorities to introduce new laws to tackle the issue.

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