black maternal deaths | WOSU Radio

black maternal deaths

Medicine continues to advance on many fronts, yet basic health care fails hundreds of women a year who die during or after pregnancy, especially women of color. Black mothers die at a rate that's 3.3 times greater than whites, and Native American or Alaskan Native women die at a rate 2.5 times greater than whites, according to a report out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron)
Paul Vernon / Associated Press

Tuesday marks the first-ever meeting of the Ohio Black Maternal Health Caucus.

Samantha Blackwell was working her way through a master's degree at Cleveland State University when she found out she was pregnant.

"I was 25, in really good health. I had been an athlete all my life. I threw shot put for my college, so I was in my prime," she says with a laugh.

Though it wasn't planned, Blackwell's pregnancy was embraced by her large and loving family and her boyfriend, who would soon become her husband. Her labor was quick, and she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

London Scout / Unsplash

During her second pregnancy, 25-year old Jessica Roach thought she would have a smooth experience, like the first one, but her health deteriorated.