Sunday, August 23, 2015

Why Are So Many Black Babies Dying?

There aren't many things in life that really upset me. 

Ever since the doctors said that my husband and I would never have children naturally - you know, old school, the way we've been making babies since Adam and Eve - and I proceeded to get pregnant naturally (yep, intercourse) six months later. Ever since then I have been on this crazy road of learning more about women, childbirth, and babies in general. 

Before having my son I dove headfirst into researching my options about birth. Since then I have become a doula and childbirth educator. But it wasn't until spring of 2014 at the Southwest Birth Roundup when my path took a major turn. I listened intently to the incredible midwife Jennie Joseph toss out matter-of-fact statistics on infant and maternal mortality rates among African-Americans. These statistics brought me to a place of great grief. No longer was I just a doula and childbirth educator. In that moment I became an advocate. I wanted to shout from the mountaintops how completely wrong this was. And is.

Then I came home and I looked up more information about these phenomena that I had no clue about. I ended up falling down a rabbit hole of information that truly infuriated me.

This is some of what I learned (see footnotes for sources):

African-American women are three to four times more likely to be harmed or die during birth.

African-American babies are two to three times more likely to be born too soon, too small, or too sick to survive.

The African-American population in the USA is 13.2% (as of 2014). The white population in the USA 77.7%.

However, the African-American abortion percentage is 37%. The white abortion percentage is 34%.

The infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 live births) is 12.2 for African-Americans, and 5.3 for non-Hispanic whites, and 5.4 for Hispanics.

Get more info by clicking this link, and see that the rates stay basically the same across all states in the U.S.

The maternal mortality rate is similarly disproportionate. Looking at deaths per 100,000 live births, the number of African-Americans in the U.S. is 42.8, for whites 12.5, and for other races 17.3.

My reaction to this is: what in the actual hell? Why is there not national outrage over these figures and why did I not know this? I haven't even begun writing about Planned Parenthood. Are you ready?

Planned Parenthood was founded by proud racist and eugenicist Margaret Sanger. If you look her up, you'll find it pretty incredible what she was capable of doing while others bowed at her feet like she was God. She even had black ministers involved to back up her "service," but it was all based in pure deceit. If the devil could dress up like someone and fool people to believe that what he was doing were good, he would dress up like Margaret Sanger.

Here is a nice little quote from Ms. Sanger. "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." Planned Parenthood does many good things but... (Yes, there will always be a big ol' "BUT: when it comes to PP.)

But... they kill babies. Not only do they kill babies or "clumps of tissue" or "products of conception" (as they would like to put it), they strategically set up shop in lower economic communities, all in the name of providing "services" for those in need.

The major problem with this is that although African-American women make up a small percentage of the population of the U.S, these women make up nearly the largest percentage of women getting abortions. I had someone argue that African-American women make up the largest percentage of abortions because they are the minority. Please someone enlighten me, educate me on how this makes a lick of sense.

In 2011 there were 76,251 abortions in NYC. Of these aborted babies, 9,950 were white, which is 12.5% of the total. A whopping 35,188 were black babies, which is 46.1% of the total. 

Did you know that in 2012 there were more black babies aborted in NYC than born? There were 31,328 babies aborted in the city that year, versus 24,758 allowed to live.

I write this not as a black woman with an agenda against the evil white man. Please, if anyone knows me, I am the furthest thing from a racist, and if you think that I'm racist because I'm writing about the disparities experienced by black women and babies you might want to look at yourself for a second. This is not about you. This is about life. When it comes to the right to life there should be no color divide - but obviously there is.

I am writing this because to me the facts are so obviously sickening that this needs to be a topic of discussion amongst everyone. 

Something needs to be done. I'm tired of not seeing many faces of color in support of life... LIFE! I'm tired of these statistics being brushed off as if they are unimportant. Most do not know them. I did not know most of this until last year.

I'm also very tired of the whole argument: "Well, they had a choice!" As if black women have so very little regard for the life of their children that there could not possibly be any other factors that contribute to it. Let us not forget that I included statistics of infant and MATERNAL mortality rates here. 

Something bigger is going on and it is going to take more than a handful of white people standing up for life. It is going to take people opening their eyes to the immorality that has overtaken hearts and blinded us to this mass genocide. It is going to take more than a couple of black people writing a blog. It is going to take people of color speaking out and standing up for what is right!

I want people to start asking questions and taking action. I want people to stop with their Facebook posts about how abortion is so bad and start actually doing something. Give your money to organizations that provide free or low-cost care to women, that do not support abortion. Adopt

Please, please consider adopting. Volunteer to help support teen moms and moms that are going at motherhood alone, counsel women who are struggling with the decision whether to abort or not. Get involved on the sidewalks in front of these clinics, offering women life affirming, non-violent choices.

We need compassionate, empathetic people to get out from behind their computer screens and actually do something.

We especially need to start empowering each other in this fight for life. Planned Parenthood has not empowered women. They have stripped from millions of women a natural power we as women are only capable of possessing and that is carrying and caring for our children. 

I was asked to pour out my heart and that is what I've done. Now, let's all do something together.

The following are sources for information contained in this blog post. New Wave Feminists always encourages readers to read and research further.



  1. You might be interested in Alveda King and her wonderful essays/books on this very issue. She is beyond fabulous and I love hearing her speak.

  2. Thanks for this post. I am curious about one aspect of the statistics you have presented: do you have any thoughts on why infant and maternal mortality rates (and I think abortion rates, although I could be wrong) are not only higher among black Americans relative to whites but relative to Hispanics as well?

  3. I know this is an old post but I wanted to add a bit of my experience. I had a absolute horrible child birthing experience. My baby was all but left for dead (not being dramatic). I had to literally fight for me and my baby's health and later his LIFE. Long story short, he was transferred to another hospital and received much more adequate care. I do believe there are a lot of racial prejudices at play. I believe not all women have the wherewithal to fight....I kept telling my husband something isn't right they aren't treating my baby. When the transfer personnel arrived from Children's Hospital they were appalled at the condition they found my baby in. I had prenatal care (which I now believe was lacking). I am not what would be considered low income. Year I saw first hand the disparities that are faced by child bearing women in the Southern US daily.

    1. Shemeka,

      We'd love to share your story on here if you'd ever like to blog about it. I can't even imagine what you went through...


  4. I would LOVE to. I've been told I need to tell my story, write about my story..