Thursday, October 6, 2016
The Root (Sept. 30, 2016): The Black Maternal Mortality Rate In The US Is An International Crisis, by Dr. Joia Crear Perry:
The United States is the only developed country in the world where maternal mortality is on the rise. Black women in the South are acutely at risk. Black women in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white women. Despite clear evidence of this inequity, policymakers and, as a consequence, the government have not made this an urgent public health and human rights issue.
High maternal mortality rates are linked to "underlying social determinants of health inequities in housing, political participation, education, food, environmental conditions and economic security." State governments can play an important role in prevention by ensuring that their residents have basic health care services and that women have the information, facilities, services and resources to support healthy pregnancies.
To address high maternal mortality rates in the U.S., the Black Mamas Matter campaign has adopted the UN technical-guidance document on maternal mortality.
U.N. Human Rights Council resolutions on maternal mortality and the related technical guidance shift the discourse on maternal mortality from a solely public health or personal-responsibility problem to one of women’s rights. The U.S. is an example of how investment in biotechnology and not people leads to the improvements of things and not human beings, especially women.
A human rights framework encourages governments to look at how government policies have a disproportionate and discriminatory impact on different populations and encourages putting people who are most affected at the table to develop policies.