A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows startling maternal mortality rates among Black women in the United States. In fact, the rates for non-Hispanic Black women in 2020 were significantly higher than rates for non-Hispanic White and Hispanic women, and increased dramatically from 2019.

"Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts. It is, at this juncture, to be viewed as a public health and human rights violation; many of these outcomes could have been prevented," said Kecia Gaither, M.D., board-certified in OB-GYN and maternal-fetal medicine, and director of perinatal services at NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in the Bronx in New York City.

Why are Black women more likely than white women to experience pregnancy complications? And how can Black women advocate for their healthcare rights?

It's important to first recognize women of color are not a singular group, said Alison Buist, Ph.D., health policy expert and medical advisor at the Body Agency, a sexual health and