By Deekshita Ramanarayan, July 21, 2020, New Security Beat.
“The past months have been profoundly difficult for our nation, and for Black communities in particular,” said Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) at a recent March of Dimesevent on the impact of structural racism on maternal health. COVID-19 has highlighted health outcome inequity caused by race and racism. Though Black people constitute 13 percent of the U.S. population, the CDC estimates they represent over 30 percent of COVID-19 cases.
This racial disparity is present across many health outcomes and uniquely impact mothers and babies. During the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, data from Illinois showed that Black and Hispanic patients were two to three times more likely to be hospitalized with H1N1, said Jaqueline Howard, a reporter for CNN Health. Black women are 2.5 times more likely than white women to die during childbirth. “Influence and education, and even celebrity status, don’t shield women of color from some of these outcomes,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes.