End Unjust Maternal Mortality of Black Women in Philadelphia

End Unjust Maternal Mortality of Black Women in Philadelphia

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Leianna Yancey started this petition to Hahnemann and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals

Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Every year in this country, about 700 women die during or soon after giving birth, making this the most dangerous nation in the developed world to have a baby. Far more women – 50,000 – narrowly survive childbirth. And women who are poor or African American are at greatest risk of life-threatening complications.

Black women are undervalued. They are not monitored as carefully as white women are. When they do present with symptoms, they are often dismissed. Racism affects so many things before the patient even gets to the clinical encounter. Both implicit bias and structural racism affect how Black women are cared for in the healthcare system. I, or any other Black woman, should not fear the possibly of pregnancy due to the high risk of medical complications.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the childbirth complication rates of Black women at Hahnemann and Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals are 3.8 and 3.7 percent, while Pennsylvania's median rate is just 1.1 percent. These doctors desperately need training about implicit bias and structural racism to ensure the well-being of their African American patients. It is a matter of life or death.

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