Sen. Kamala Harris Calls Out High Mortality Rates Among Black Moms: 'This Is An Issue That's About Race'

The stats are scary.

Kamala Harris
Photo Credit: Twitter

| December 14 2018,

7:03 pm

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) wants to eliminate the healthcare gap between Black and white mothers.

Harris derided the treatment of women in general by American healthcare providers on Wednesday during a speech at an event hosted by the Center of American Progress, according to HuffPost.

"Women in the health care system must be given dignity," the freshman senator said. "They must be listened to. They must be taken seriously. They must be given respect."

She also pointed out the alarming mortality rates faced by Black women.

“Black women in America are three to four times more like to die than white women because they choose to become mothers and want to raise those children to be productive members of society,” Harris said. “That is a truth, uncomfortable though it may make us. It is a truth that must be spoken.”

Harris, a stepmother of two, argued race, particularly racism, are behind the problem.

“At its core, one of the biggest parts of the problem is that this is an issue that’s about race,” she said. “And this is an issue that’s also about implicit bias.”

She also said she believes combating sexism will help save more mothers, The Hill reports.

"[Women] must be given a sense of dignity about understanding that when they tell you something, listen," the senator declared. "When they tell you what they need, listen. They know what they need when they tell you. Hear them.”

Maternal and infant mortality is an alarming issue in the Black community. Black women are about three times more likely to die during childbirth compared to white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There are 40 maternal deaths for every 100,000 Black mothers. The death rates for white women and other women of color is 12.4 and 17.8, respectively.


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