COLORADO, USA — This week is Black Maternal Health Week and the Biden administration is raising awareness about the disparity Black women face in healthcare.
The maternal mortality rate in America is amongst the highest in the world and is especially high amongst Black and Native American women. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women.
Factors such as systemic and medical racism, implicit bias and access to quality health care contribute to the inequality Black women face in health care, regardless of education or income level.
President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris first recognized Black Maternal Health Week in April 2021 with the announcement of initial actions to address the maternal health crisis.
These actions included investments into implicit bias training programs for healthcare providers, additional funding for the HHS Office for Civil Rights, and an extension for Postpartum coverage for all women under Medicaid.
This followed President Biden’s commitment to advancing racial equality with an executive order implementing a new comprehensive approach.
“The inequities that Black mothers face are not isolated incidents but, rather, the byproduct of systemic racism in our society.” according to a statement from the White House. “To root it out, and improve health outcomes, we must address a broad range of areas where unequal access persists along racial lines.”
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