Claiming Lives

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All reported comparisons and measures of association in this article are for Black women compared to a cohort of White women, unless otherwise indicated. The history of family planning for Black women is one of the most abhorrent in medicine, with eugenics campaigns and forced sterilization disproportionately targeting Black women.

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Black women have nearly four times the rate of abortions Black women in the United States from to were more than three times as likely to die a pregnancy-related death than White and Hispanic women, accounting for Black infants die at more than two times the rates of White infants, with infant mortality ratios of 5. In every state where data on Black births are reported, Black women have a higher preterm birth rate. In , the prevalence of preterm birth for White women was 9.

Finally, at the time of birth, Black women are at least twice as likely to experience severe maternal morbidities. In a population-based sample of women aged 33 to 44 years, Black women had twofold odds of infertility after adjustment for socioeconomic position, correlates of pregnancy intent, and risk factors for infertility see Appendix.

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In an analysis of the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology national database, Black women underwent only 4. Even when Black women attain equal access to IVF, disparities in odds of achieving pregnancy persist, and women who have a live birth are disproportionately White. Black women had lower live birth rates One proposed mechanism for IVF outcome disparities in Black women is poor access to quality clinics. However, among a cohort of women with access to a single large-volume IVF program, the AOR for intrauterine pregnancies was 0. Beyond the reproductive years, Black women have a 1.

Within high-risk histology types, the mortality gap is even greater: Black women have a 1.

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Despite similar screening rates, Black women undergo lower quality screening and poorer follow-up of abnormal results. When afforded access to the same quality of care as White women, unsurprisingly, long-term survival rates are the same. When Black women with ovarian cancer receive equal care, they have the same survival rate.

Enough is enough. Race is a social construct and the overwhelming statistics we present are attributable to a broken racist system, not a broken group of women.

Evidence-based outrage is the objective, logical conclusion. Instead of sitting back on the reflexive defense that racial disparities are too complex for us to do anything about, what if we decided to try anyway? What if every obstetrics and gynecology department made racial equity in known areas of disparity the priority of all quality improvement projects? For researchers, how would your study designs change if the primary metric was whether they helped Black women?

How would your interventions be modified if you could not claim success without racially equitable outcomes? How can we look at the evidence and do anything else?

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The authors wish to thank the anonymous peer reviewers for their interest in and valuable contributions to this piece, and by extension, to improved health for Black women in the United States. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Published on: 28 Feb Editor: Flora Teoh.

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Our reviews are crowdsourced directly from a community of scientists with relevant expertise. We strive to explain whether and why information is or is not consistent with the science and to help readers know which news to trust. Please get in touch if you have any comment or think there is an important claim or article that would need to be reviewed.

Misleading : The claim of harms caused by the flu vaccine relies on an official government report petitions for compensation due to alleged vaccine injury. But the article never mentions that it is not necessary for petitioners to present proof. Inaccurate : The article downplays the flu vaccine's benefits by providing incorrect statistics on reduction in flu-associated mortality.

Like all medical interventions, the flu vaccine comes with side effects.

However, most side effects are mild and short-lived.

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