As the White House proclaims the first-ever week to highlight Black maternal health, Vice President Kamala Harris raises concerns about the dismal rate of Black maternity mortality in America.
Watch the meeting in the player above.
“We know the primary reasons why,” Harris says. “Systemic racial inequities and implicit bias and the consequences are both very real.”
America’s maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the developed world, and they are especially high among Black mothers, who die from complications related to pregnancy at roughly two to three times the rate of white, Hispanic, Asian American, and Pacific Islander women — regardless of their income or education levels.
This week President Joe Biden issued a proclamation calling on all Americans to recognize the importance of addressing the crisis of Black maternal mortality and morbidity in the country.
During a roundtable with women who have been directly affected by the issue, Harris also spoke on the death of Black man Daunte Wright after a white Minnesota police officer who fatally shot him during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb.
“You must know that the president and I grieve with you as the nation grieves his loss and we stand with you,” she says. “Our nation needs justice and healing.”