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Discrimination In Maternal Healthcare Is Real

By: Kila Baldwin, Anapol Weiss Shareholder

It was reported this morning that former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader Krystal Anderson passed away unexpectedly after giving birth to a stillborn infant. Anderson’s cause of death was stated to be sepsis, and little is being reported at this point about the cause of the infection, the specific prenatal care she was receiving, or the cause of her child’s death.

Anderson was a health advocate who placed great importance on all persons having access to healthcare.

Maternal deaths have more than doubled in the United States in the past twenty years. African American mothers are at the highest risk of dying during childbirth, with a reported rate of 55.3 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. This is almost 3 times the rate of maternal death seen in Caucasian women and does not account for maternal deaths where the infant was stillborn/deceased at the time of birth.

Harvard University created a Mental Health Task Force in their Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health to ensure that front-line maternal health workers, policymakers, researchers, and advocates across the world have access to the most current reliable evidence in the field.

The task force aims to identify and share promising research, as well as serve as a catalyst for research, improvement, and innovation. The director of the task force, Dr. Henning Tiemeier, has stated that the high rate of maternal mortality among African American women is “essentially one of the biggest challenges of public health.” Many reasons for the disparity in maternal rates exist, but Tiemeir has cited several reasons, including “poverty to discrimination to poor care for this group of women.”

At Anapol Weiss, we are committed to helping families who have experienced a crisis during the birth of their child. All too often, we see women of color not being given appropriate prenatal care, leading to injuries (or even deaths) of mother or infant.

Our team of litigators, many of whom are female and mothers themselves, are compassionate to what a woman goes through during pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and can empathize with our clients in a way other lawyers cannot. Our team of attorneys are also ferocious advocates and work with experts in obstetrics, neonatology, perinatology, placental pathology, and other areas to ensure maximum recovery for our clients.

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