Health advocate discusses health disparities in rising deaths among Black mothers

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — More insights are emerging into the racial health disparities that are causing high death rates among Black mothers and their babies in the United States.

Lawmakers and women testified at a House Oversight Committee hearing earlier this week as several proposed bills have been introduced to help decrease the death rate. Among them, proposals that include implicit bias training for doctors and funding for prenatal and postpartum care.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 42% of the women who died from pregnancy complications between 2014 and 2017 were Black — 15% of those deaths were caused by cardiovascular conditions.

Sonya Young Aadam, CEO of the California Black Women’s Health Project, says the CDC figures point to a state of “crisis,” and that the disparities aren’t new.

“If anything, the disparities continue to persist even though we see conditions for birthing in the country getting better. But for Black women in particular, sadly, what we see is that Black women are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth from pregnancy-related causes than white women. And then even more sadly, the death rate of Black babies is twice that of what you see for white babies.”

Watch the full interview with Sonya Young Aadam in the player above.


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