• Ashburn, Virginia
  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Black Maternal Mortality Still On The Rise


Black maternal mortality has been a major concern in our community. According to past reports released by the CDC, black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Unfortunately, this is still the case as we advance into a new year. New data has shown that Black women continue to face a greater risk of childbirth complications. Shifting Our Focus Since becoming aware of the alarming rates in which black women are dying during and after pregnancy through what Adelaide K. Appiah at the National Association to Advance Black Birth (NAAB), describes as a human rights issue, there has been some initiative taken to remediate. During his brief last year for Black Maternal Health Week, Joe Biden confirmed Appiah’s claims by stating that black women have tragically been denied safety and equity. While he attempted to reassure the public that work has been done to ensure more black women have access to health insurance, is this really where we should place our concern, when black women are at a greater risk of dying regardless of income and education?

A Greater Cause for Concern

What’s more, in the number of deaths reported among women with SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19), black women are the highest. Black women are more at risk for severe illness due to Covid-19; pregnancy and childbirth put them at an even higher risk of death. Although there isn’t much information to predict the long-term impact the pandemic will have on black maternal mortality, our community should be concerned and remain on high alert.

Staying Aware

With new variants of COVID-19 still emerging and black women still not receiving proper maternal care, there are a few things we can do as a community to do our part in keeping the issue prominent. Putting more emphasis on naming this crisis as a human rights issue can help apply and maintain the pressure on our elected officials. Additionally, spreading awareness on pregnancy complications and the specifics of healthy labor and recovery can allow us to rely on our family, friends, and the overall community to be advocates for black women and the maternal process.

We mustn’t wait for Black Maternal Health Week to apply the pressure for change, especially when the lives of black women, children, and future generations are on the line.



“A Proclamation on Black Maternal Health Week, 2021.” The White House, The United States Government, 14 Apr. 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/04/13/a-proclamation-on-black-maternal-health-week-2021/.

Appiah, Adelaide. “The Momnibus Act of 2020.” The NAABB, https://thenaabb.org/1960-2/.

“Black and Pregnant during a Pandemic: A Crisis within a Crisis.” CNN, Cable News Network, 25 Aug. 2021, https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2021/08/us/black-women-maternal-mortality-pandemic/.

Office of Minority Health & Health Equity (OMHHE). “Working Together to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9 Apr. 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/healthequity/features/maternal-mortality/index.html.

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KJ Johnson
KJ Johnson is a freelance copywriter by day and an avid reader and writer by night. She loves writing poetry and prose that highlight growth journeys, coming-of-age struggles, and the complexity of self-discovery.




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