WASHINGTON (WDVM) — According to the CDC, Black women have the highest maternal mortality rates in the United States so activists say they will suffer most due to their already disproportionate access to adequate health care.
“Women of all backgrounds get abortions, the statistics show that the people who get them are more likely to be unmarried, in their 20s, have low income, maybe have a child already,” said Felicia Davis Blakley, President & CEO of the Chicago Foundation for Women. “They are disproportionately likely to be Black, and about half of the people who get an abortion live below the federal poverty level.”
According to the CDC, the maternal mortality rate for Black women in 2020 was 55.3 deaths for 100 thousand live births… 2.9 times the rate for white women. Activists say this disparity is due to limited access to health care so forced pregnancy will only increase the number of black women who die due to complications relating to pregnancy or childbirth.
“We know that DC in the city and a maternal mortality crisis and we know that the best way to guarantee healthy parents and healthy babies is to make sure that people have the right to choose when they are ready to be parents to parent on their terms,” said Hope Neyer, Organizer of ShutDownDC. “And that means making abortion safe, legal, accessible and free.”
Activists also say underserved communities will have the hardest time going out of state for abortions since they already face a lack of access to not only reproductive health services but also to all healthcare.
“People with money and people who are white will always be able to take care of their own but people who are indigenous, black, undocumented and poor are going to be hit the hardest,” said Simone Kolysh, Activist & Sociologist.