From Democracy Now on 01/11/18
ANNIE WALDMAN: Yeah, well, first I want to say thank you so much for having me here. It’s an honor to speak about this work.
And secondly, you know, when I heard the news of Erica Garner’s death, it was horrifying. It’s incredibly—we, at ProPublica, have spoken to hundreds of women who—and families of mothers who have died in childbirth. And it’s a devastating thing and a heartbreaking thing to lose a mother, a new mother, in childbirth. And in these conversations, the most important thing that seems to come up with African-American women or with white women or women of other races is that it’s an injustice. And it’s injustice because in the United States we have some of the highest rates of maternal death across the board. And most of this is driven by the deaths of black mothers.
As we heard in what Shannon was saying earlier, in New York City alone, women are—black women are 12 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. This is an injustice—an injustice that can be stopped.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, in your piece, as well, or in the ProPublica investigation, I mean, there are some extremely, in addition to what you cited, distressing statistics, that a black woman is 22 percent more likely to die from heart disease than a white women, 71 percent more likely to perish from cervical cancer, but 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. The investigation also cites the World Health Organization saying that black expectant and new mothers in the U.S. die at about the same rate as women in countries such as Mexico and Uzbekistan.
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Four women by Nina Simone