March of Dimes today released the following statement from President and CEO Stacey D. Stewart, in response to the publication of an article in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) documenting persistent racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related deaths.
"Today’s report from the CDC documents that non-Hispanic black and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) women older than 30 are four to five times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than non-Hispanic white women. These data should be unacceptable to every American. America should not be the most deadly place in the developed world to give birth. It’s time for us to have an honest conversation about the huge health disparities that exist for women of color and to urgently enact a sweeping series of policy changes to combat this epidemic."
One of the prevention targets identified in today’s MMWR is addressing implicit bias and structural racism in health care and community settings. March of Dimes is collaborating with Quality Interactions to create a new, compelling implicit bias training for maternal care providers and health systems. It’s a unique learning opportunity to help providers determine the degree of change that can be adopted to improve the health of moms of color. This training will be available beginning in October 2019. We are also supporting legislation and policies to enhance investment in state and local Maternal Mortality Review Boards, which offer the best opportunity for further identifying strategies to reduce pregnancy-related injuries and death.”
Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Pregnancy-Related Deaths — United States, 2007–2016 by Emily E. Petersen, MD and others appears in the Sept. 6 issue of MMWR, Vol. 68 / No. 35.