Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP   712.224.5420

Blog: Racial disparities in women's health care

"It's not every day that the United States is reprimanded on the international stage for racial discrimination. And it's certainly not every day that part of the charges includes discrimination against women of color in the area of reproductive health care.

But one day before International Women's Day, a United Nations committee expressed concern about "wide racial disparities" in sexual and reproductive health in the United States. The Committee was responding to pervasive and dramatic disparities between the reproductive health of women of color and white women. Its comments reflect a triumph for reproductive health activists in the struggle to have the reproductive health needs of minority women taken seriously.

Nancy Northup, the president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, testified before the Committee on February 18 and addressed how women of color have significantly poorer sexual and reproductive health than the majority white population. While that's not a newsflash to many of us, the data can be alarming:

* African-American women are nearly four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, 23 times more likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS and 14 times more likely to die from the disease.
* American-Indian/Alaskan Native women are over 5 times more likely than white women to have chlamydia and over 7 times more likely to contract syphilis."

Get the Story:
Cynthia Soohoo and Katrina Anderson: US Falls Short On Racial Disparities in Health (RH Reality Check 3/10)

Related Stories:
Blog: Extra abortion limits placed on Indian women (3/7)