Excerpt: The last time the state compiled multi-year data in 2013researchers found that over a 13- year period, African American women were three times more likely to die as a “result from complications of the pregnancy itself, interventions elected or required because of the pregnancy, or from the chain of events initiated by the complications or interventions, or from a disease which was obviously aggravated by the physiologic effects of pregnancy,” as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines maternal mortality.

“We see these numbers when you look at women who haven’t graduated high school to those who have graduated from college and have a Ph.D. and more,” Bentley-Edwards said.

“It’s not me being a black woman that’s a risk factor, it’s not my skin color, it’s society,” Bentley-Edwards added, underscoring her pitch that any leaps in progress must take into account the ill effects of institutional racism that have plagued this country and state for centuries.

Read the full article by the North Carolina Health News here.