When women become pregnant, it's easy to take for granted that within ten months they'll emerge from labor with a brand new baby. Increasingly, in the African American community, this simply is not the case. Alarmingly, black women are 300 percent more likely to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes than white women. For new and expectant black mothers in the U.S., the World Health Organization estimates that the rate of survival is equivalent to that of women in some third world countries.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, these racial disparities transcend education and income levels. A 2016 analysis of five years of data compiled in New York City revealed that college-educated black mothers who gave birth in local hospitals were more likely to suffer severe complications of pregnancy or childbirth than their white counterparts who never graduated from high school.
“It tells you that you can’t educate your way out of this problem," Raegan McDonald-Mosley, the chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told ProPublica. "You can’t health-care-access your way out of this problem. There’s something inherently wrong with the system that’s not valuing the lives of black women equally to white women.”
This certainly seems to have been the case for 36-year-old, Shalon Irving. An epidemiologist at the CDC holding a B.A. in sociology, two master’s degrees and dual-subject Ph.D., Irving was the picture of socioeconomic success, but none of this prevented her from dying three weeks after giving birth. Read more at Blavity.com