Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-21-14

Detroit Maternal Death Rate Is Triple the US Average

Women in Detroit are dying from pregnancy-related complications at about three times the US average, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Twenty-six women died in Detroit over the period 2008-2011 as a result of pregnancy or childbirth, and Detroit has the highest rate of infant mortality among major US cities, with 13.5 infant deaths for every 1,000 live births.

According to Dr. Priya Agrawal, executive director of Merck for Mothers (an initiative launched to reduce maternal mortality), popular opinion in the US suggests maternal and infant death happens only in developing countries, but data proves otherwise, with US national rates increasing, even as maternal mortality rates worldwide decline.

"[Americans] don't think women are dying [from pregnancy] in the US, let alone that the rate is going up," Dr. Agrawal said.

The US is one of just eight countries where the number of maternal deaths increased between 2003 and 2013, according to a recent study published in The Lancet. That study found that in 2013, for every 100,000 births in the US, about 18.5 women died, even though it is more expensive to give birth in the US than anywhere else in the world.

Experts attribute the high maternal death rate in Detroit to a mix of chronic health conditions, which African-Americans suffer more often. African-Americans are up to four times more likely to die of pregnancy-related causes than white women, and almost 83 percent of Detroit's population is black or African-American, according to US Census data.

Poverty also plays a critical role in the city's high maternal and infant death rates. Detroit is the poorest major city in the country, with about 40 percent of the population living under the poverty line. Poorer individuals in the US often struggle to get the access to health care they need. And black women in the US are currently twice as likely not to receive prenatal care than white women.

Detroit also has a shortage of primary care physicians, some of whom do not accept Medicaid. Still, the recent expansion of Medicaid in the state - made possible through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - will help provide necessary preventive health services that will help ensure that women can manage health conditions before and after pregnancy.

Media Resources: The Detroit News 7/10/2014, 1/30/2014; Child Trends 11/2014; US Census Bureau; Feminist Newswire 5/9/14; Think Progress 5/6/14


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

7/30/2015 Boy Scouts of America Lifts Ban on Gay Troop Leaders - The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have voted to repeal its national ban on gay and lesbian adult staff and volunteers this week. "The resolution will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation," a Boy Scouts of America statement read. Just 15 years ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that the BSA had the right to discriminate against gay volunteers and staff in a 5-4 decision. . . .
 
7/29/2015 An Extreme Abortion Ban is Now Law in Wisconsin - Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed an extreme 20 week abortion ban into law last week. The law, which bans abortions performed past 20 weeks, has no exception whatsoever for rape, incest, or fatal fetal anomalies. . . .
 
7/29/2015 Jen Welter Just Made NFL History - Jen Welter was hired as a coach for the Arizona Cardinals this week, becoming the first woman ever to be a National Football League coach. . . .