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Overview:

The White House is encouraging Americans to learn more about the issues Black women face during pregnancy and baby's first year.

With the theme of “Building for Liberation: Centering Black Mamas, Black Families and Black Systems of Care,” this year’s Black Maternal Health week has support from the White House in encouraging the nation to help improve health outcomes for Black mothers and their babies.
Founded by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, five years ago, this is the second Black Maternal Health Week in which the Biden/Harris Administration is supporting the effort.

President Joe Biden issues a proclamation in which he asks “all Americans to raise awareness of the state of Black maternal health in the United States by understanding the consequences of systemic discrimination, recognizing the scope of this problem and the need for urgent solutions, amplifying the voices and experiences of Black women, families, and communities, and committing to building a work in which Black women do not have to fear for their safety, their well-being, their dignity, or their lives, before, during, and after pregnancy.”

The health disparities in Black and white maternal health outcomes aren’t explained away by economic and educational factors. In the White House proclamation, Biden reiterated his support to working to end this crisis.

The National Organization for Women released a statement by National NOW President Christian F. Nunes.

Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white women due to multiple disparities and this week is dedicated to calling out and raising awareness of the inequities that plague Black women within our biased healthcare systems.

If we look at Black maternal health through an economic lens, Black women are paid 63 cents to a white man’s dollar. In February 2022, Black women experienced the highest increase in the unemployment rate than any other demographic landing at 6.1 percent. Since our healthcare is often tied to our jobs, Black women are taxed with spending their reduced incomes of less-than-ideal healthcare options. Their socioeconomic status contributes to their lack of care in the hospital rooms.”

The women’s rights group stresses the need for legislation such as the  Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, which advances inclusive and accessible maternal health care for Black mothers.

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