STAT

Opinion: Black mothers are dying: the toll of racism on maternal health

The death of Erica Garner should have made headlines on its own, a grim reminder of an issue we must solve — the high rates of pregnancy-related deaths among black…
Erica Garner died not long after giving birth to her second child. Source: Evan Vucci/AP

The recent, high-profile death of Erica Garner, a 27-year-old African-American mother of two — one of them a 4-month-old infant — is a tragic example of how racism and access to health care for black mothers is a national crisis.

Not long after the birth of her youngest child, Garner had a heart attack. Four months later, an asthma attack triggered another heart attack; she died not long afterward. According to news reports, Garner’s heart had been enlarged during her pregnancy, something she didn’t know before becoming pregnant.

Her death made headlines because she was the daughter of , who died in July 2014 after being placed in an illegal chokehold by a New York

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from STAT

STAT6 min readWellness
Opinion: Ebola Vaccine For Pregnant Women: One Step Closer But Still More To Go
Protecting fetuses from harmful exposures is a laudable goal. But pregnancy shouldn't automatically exclude women from receiving lifesaving therapies like the #Ebola vaccine.
STAT2 min readPolitics
Amgen, Merck, And Eli Lilly Sue Over Trump Administration Policy To Require Drug Prices In TV Ads
Amgen, Merck, Eli Lilly, and the Association of National Advertisers sued the Trump administration over a new policy to require drug prices in TV ads.
STAT4 min readSociety
Opinion: Cost-cutting Jeopardizes Many Americans’ Access To Lifesaving Oxygen Therapy
We wouldn't tolerate a pharmacy failing to provide prescribed medication. We shouldn't tolerate companies failing to deliver prescribed oxygen therapy, though it happens all the time.