Pregnancy is such a stressful period for women. The risks they take to give birth are unmatched.
If you google causes of death during pregnancy, the list of life-threatening complications would scare any normal human being.
From severe bleeding to infections, to even high blood pressure, maternal mortality is a serious issue for women.
But, surprisingly enough none of these complications lead the way in the cause of death among pregnant people.
A shocking study from Obstetrics & Gynecology journal found that homicide was the leading cause of death among pregnant and postpartum people. Pregnant people were also twice as likely to die by homicide than any other cause of maternal mortality.
The risk of death becomes even greater when broken down by race and age.
Young women and girls ages 10-19 who were pregnant were six times more likely to die by homicide when compared to their non-pregnant peers. Young black pregnant women in the same age range were 12 times more likely to die by homicide.
Also according to a study by Aaron Kivisto, a clinical psychologist at the University of Indianapolis, “Black women were eight times more likely to be killed by their intimate partner than non-pregnant Black women.”
Researchers attribute most of these disparities to systemic racism which has limited access to quality prenatal care, heightened rates of unwanted pregnancy among younger black women. This directly correlates to partner stress and violence. Researchers also found that two-thirds of the homicides occurred in the home and most involved firearms.
“There’s a history in this country of Black women being physically abused, sexually abused, having a lack of control over their bodies and people hurting their bodies,” said Alana C. Brown, founder and executive director of nonprofit Safe Sisters Circle. “People also don’t believe Black women when they say they are in pain.”
Brown also suggests that we approach preventing intimate partner violence in a different more effective way with anti-bias training for doctors, hiring more black women in medical professionals, to easier access to affordable quality health care. “The people providing the services need to look the people getting the services,” said Brown.
Black women deserve our protection, especially if she’s pregnant or has just given birth. Yes, the system is flawed, but that doesn’t mean we also have to be.
#SayHerName: Black Women And Girls Killed By Police
1. Ma'Khia Bryant
1 of 16
Paula Bryant tells me her 16 year-old daughter Ma’Khia Bryant was an honor roll student and a sweet child. Ma’Khia was shot and killed by a @ColumbusPolice on Legion Lane at 4:30p today. pic.twitter.com/0FfbQVEgSD— Lacey Crisp (@LaceyCrisp) April 21, 2021
2. Atatiana Jefferson2 of 16
3. Pamela Turner3 of 16
4. Korryn Gaines4 of 16
5. Yvette Smith5 of 16
6. Miriam Carey6 of 16
7. Shelley Frey7 of 16
8. Darnisha Harris8 of 16
9. Malissa Williams9 of 16
10. Shantel Davis
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Protest Held In Brooklyn At Church Ave Over Police Shooting Of Shantel Davis pic.twitter.com/pivdRC8FRU— Luna (@TheLunaInverse) July 14, 2016
11. Rekia Boyd11 of 16
12. Aiyana Stanley-Jones
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Aiyana Stanley Jones— ® ღ Just J ღ ® 🌹 🌹🌹 (@spiritdance33) May 10, 2019
Seven years old. Asleep in her bed. A swat team entered her home - where they say she was “Accidentally “ shot in the head! #SayHerName and keep saying her name!!! Too many innocent black people are being murdered!!!
🙏🏾♥️🙏🏾#SayHerName #SayHerName pic.twitter.com/XYVNqHBmiH
13. Tarika Wilson13 of 16
14. Kathryn Johnston
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Atlanta now says will release police reports on Kathryn Johnston shooting and one other to Citizen's Review Board. Board chair is shocked.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) July 7, 2009
15. Kendra James
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Memorial planned to mark 10-year anniversary of Portland police fatal shooting of Kendra James: http://t.co/TmzUNsT5WP— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) April 30, 2013
The Homicide Rates Among Pregnant Black Women Will Shock You–Researchers Point To Systemic Racism was originally published on newsone.com
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