FILE – A doctor uses a hand-held Doppler probe on a pregnant woman to measure the heartbeat of the fetus on Dec. 17, 2021, in Jackson, Miss. COVID-19 drove a dramatic increase in the number of women who died from pregnancy or childbirth complications in the U.S. last year, a crisis that has disproportionately claimed Black and Hispanic women as victims, according to a report released Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

A number of reproductive-related crises disproportionately affect Black women. Due to an imbalance in medical care, Black women are more likely to have early births or die as a result of pregnancy-related problems; racism has impacted their reproductive lives.

According to “Reproducing while Black: The Crisis of Black Maternal Health, Obstetric racism and assisted reproductive technology,” a peer-reviewed article dissecting the racial discrepancies affecting Black maternal health, Black women are affected by higher rates of premature birth, low-birthweight infants, and maternal death.

Additionally, Black women are seeing a deeper complication in receiving access to reproductive technology. The author of the article, Dána-Ain Davis focused on obstetric racism and how its components grew into reproductive subjugation. Obstetric racism has the following features: diagnostic lapses, neglect, dismissiveness, or disrespect or intentionally causing pain.

For decades, there have been historical discrepancies in Black maternal health. However, in light of America’s recent “racial reckoning,” the public health and medical communities have begun to concentrate on understanding the pathways that lead to higher rates of Black maternal morbidity and policymakers are seeking legal and policy approaches to reducing inequities.

According to “Black Mothers Matter: The Social, Political and Legal Determinants of Black Maternal Health Across the Lifespan,” by Elizabeth Tobin Tyler, many overlapping social, political, and legal structures contribute to Black mother’s poor health outcomes. These frameworks include Black mothers’ specific social status, history and society and contributed to shaping harmful public policies, and poorly designed and enacted laws and systems that not only fail to protect Black mothers.

The statistics reveal an alarming reality: Black women are at a higher risk of giving birth than other races. More news has recently been shared about the devastating facts about Black maternal health.

According to the data found in the Tyler’s peer reviewed article, Black mothers die at an average of 3.2 times more than White mothers, and Black babies are more than 2.4 times more likely to die in their first year of life. Until recently, the voices of Black women and their public health supporters demanding that this injustice be addressed went unheard.

The numbers reflect a startling reality, Black women are at a higher risk in giving birth than other soon to be mothers. Recently, there has more news circulating around the devastating truth of Black maternal health. Research revealed a need for reformation with the medical and maternal field.

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