Being Black and Pregnant in the Deep South Can Be a Dangerous Combination

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Data demonstrates that Black women and infants in the South face higher health risks during pregnancy and childbirth. Black women are more likely to face unfair or indifferent treatment from medical professionals, and the legacy of systemic discrimination has led to poor health outcomes. In states like South Carolina, where abortion bans have been upheld, Black infant and maternal mortality rates are more than double those of white individuals. The closure of rural hospitals and a lack of access to medical care, along with structural racism, all contribute to this issue. There is concern that the recent Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision could worsen the situation further, as it has exacerbated existing healthcare inequities and contributed to an increasing maternal death rate.

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