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Childbirth 8 Times More Dangerous For Black Women Study Says

March 27, 2012

Minorities often face discrimination.  Much mainstream media coverage of discrimination minorities face focuses lately on immigration, work-related pay variances, or leave policies.  What time of discriminatory procedures literally kill minorities?   Obstetrics care variances.  Black women are eight times more likely to die in childbirth than white women in NYC, 8 times more likely to die.  That’s not a rate of injury, it’s a death rate.

According to studies published last year, childbirth is more dangerous based on ethnicity and elevated C-section rates, compounded by higher rates of complications:

In New York City and many urban centers across America, a higher C-section rate, particularly among African American women, has been closely linked to higher maternal mortality. Black women in New York City die during pregnancy and childbirth eight times as often as white women, according to a report released last year by the city’s health department, and 79 percent of all women who died from pregnancy-related causes had a C-section.

While New York’s health department states that they only purport to condone C-sections done for medically necessary reasons,

“Like many states, New York has seen an increase in C-sections over the past 20 years,” says Peter Constantakes, spokesperson for the New York State Department of Health. “The New York State Department of Health recognizes that in certain cases C-sections are warranted; however, they do increase the risk for mother and baby and should be undertaken only when medically necessary.”

does this mean that the New York Health Department believes black women require more medically  necessary C-sections than white women?

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