Racism, Not Race, Causes Health Disparities for Black Mothers, by Sheela Nimishakavi | Nonprofit Quarterly
The health disparities that exist for Black mothers in America are well documented. Black women are three to four times more likely to die from childbirth than their White counterparts. Yet, aside from listing “being Black” as a risk factor for maternal death, little has been done to address this alarming statistic.
(…) Dr. Crear-Perry’s definition of a risk factor brings a new perspective to the issue of racism and maternal death. Seeing race as a risk factor for maternal death would suggest that there is some genetic predisposition that has been passed to Black mothers, much like Tay-Sachs disease is common among individuals of Eastern European descent. This is not the case, however. A growing body of research indicates that, in fact, the stress caused by discrimination plays a noteworthy role in both maternal and infant mortality.