#Motherhood

Kamala Harris Addresses Maternal Health Crisis On Black Maternal Health Week

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During Black Maternal Health Week, American Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a roundtable on Black maternal health. The Biden-Harris Administration also announced their initial actions to address the maternal health crisis.

The United States of America’s maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the developed nations, and the rates are even higher among Black women and Native American women. According to recent data, Black women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy complications as compares to white women. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that approximately 66 percent of the deaths were preventable.

The roundtable on Black maternal health was hosted by Kamala Harris to address the “unacceptably high rate of Black maternal mortality” in America. It consisted of Black women who shared their experiences during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. The advocacy and research done by the women were also discussed, and the disparity faced by Black women in maternal health was addressed.

Harris stated that “Black women in our country are facing a maternal health crisis”. She added that compared to other women, “Black women are two to three times more likely to die in connection with childbirth”. Harris also stated that Native American women are 2.3 times more likely to die for pregnancy-related crisis compared to white women. She stated that the primary reasons behind this disparity are “systemic racial inequities and implicit bias.”

When speaking about lower health insurance premiums and extending Medicaid coverage for postpartum women, Harris stated that Black women are more likely to lose healthcare coverage during their pregnancy.

The professional tennis player Serena Williams has a history of blood clots. After she gave birth, she had trouble breathing and had to tell a nurse that she required an IV with heparin, blood thinners, and a CT scan to check for clots. The nurse believed that the medications were impacting her judgement, and an ultrasound was performed instead. A CT scan was taken only after Williams insisted that she required one, and the scan revealed several small blood clots in her lungs.

The initial actions released by the Biden-Harris Administration to address the Black maternal health crisis included the following:

  1. $200 million dollars were invested to implement implicit bias training for healthcare providers, expand the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program, place early childhood development experts in paediatrician offices, etc.
  2. Providing $340 million, an 18.7 percent increase, to the Title X Family Planning Program. The program improves access to reproductive and preventive health services.
  3. Providing $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children to help families by proving them with food.
  4. Broadly extending postpartum coverage. During the roundtable, Harris stated that Black women are more likely to lose healthcare coverage during their pregnancy as compared to white women.

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Kamala Harris Addresses Maternal Health Crisis On Black Maternal Health Week
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