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Olympic Medalist’s Death Highlights Racial Disparity for Maternal Care

This past May, Tori Bowie, a three-time Olympic medalist went into labor eight months into her pregnancy. The baby was stillborn, and Tory Bowie died of complications at the age of 32. This tragic event underscores the maternal mortality crisis in the United States, especially for minorities.

To schedule a free case review with a birth injury lawyer serving Baltimore, call Brown & Barron at (410) 698-1717 or contact us online today!

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The death of a star athlete put focus on a problem that affects all U.S. women and is getting worse. People magazine, citing a March (2023) report released by the Centers for Disease Control (the CDC) in March found that “the U.S. had one of the worst overall rates of maternal mortality in its history, with 1,205 women dying of maternal causes in 2021 — a 40% increase from the previous year.”

With the vast wealth, technology, and medical resources in the United States, one would expect excellent outcomes for women during pregnancy and childbirth. That is not the case. According to a study of 11 high-income countries by the Commonwealth Fund in 2022:

Increased Risk of Death for Black Mothers

Another study by the CDC found that Black mothers had higher rates of mortality across all age groups, education levels, and even in states with low rates of maternal deaths. The Common Wealth Fund study, mentioned earlier, noted that the high cost of health care in the U.S. creates a situation where Black women to not have equal access to quality care. The study found that the higher rates of maternal mortality were linked to risk factor such as:

  • Not having a regular doctor
  • Avoiding seeing a doctor when they had a known medical problem
  • Skipping a needed test, treatment, or follow-up visit
  • Not filling a prescription for medicine or skipping doses

The driving cause behind these risk factors is a lack of access to affordable health insurance in the U.S., making recommended care too expensive. This causes women to avoid prenatal care they cannot afford, thereby increasing the risk of complications.

“We are missing opportunities to identify risk factors prior to pregnancy, and there are often delays in recognizing symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum, particularly for black women,” said Dr. Lisa Hollier, immediate past president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in a news release.

Preventable Deaths Related to Pregancy

If you suspect your loved one might have died a preventable death related to pregnancy due to hospital negligence, we have a proven track record of protecting patients’ rights against large hospitals and insurance companies, and we’re prepared to fight for you, too.

Contact Brown & Barron, LLC today at (410) 698-1717 to schedule a free consultation with our team.

To schedule a free case review with a birth injury lawyer serving Baltimore, call Brown & Barron at (410) 698-1717 or contact us online today!

If you want more articles like this, subscribe to our free monthly newsletter by clicking here.

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A woman's lifeless hand
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