Regardless of income, Black women face death to give birth in America

By Dr. Lyndon Haviland

March 1, 2023

recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that the wealthiest women and their infants are more likely to have better childbirth outcomes than those who are not. Unless they’re Black, that is, where new statistics reveal a disproportionate impact on people of color, regardless of income level. …

Experts cite the effects of systemic racism regardless of economic status. Black women encounter “untoward experiences” and face bias by medical professionals, conscious or unconscious. Some of these patients express concerns that their pain won’t be taken seriously. Others fear hospital security may be called based simply on the color of their skin.  

These experiences deny pregnant Black women — those able to pay — from receiving the care they deserve. We can’t ignore it; we must listen, learn and do the necessary work to minimize this community’s unacceptably high risk of pregnancy complications.