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Black Maternal Health: Experts say Roe v. Wade will disproportionately impact Black women

A Duke University study suggests that a complete abortion ban could increase Black maternal deaths by 33%.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Some advocates and health experts say the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will disproportionately affect Black women. A Duke University study suggests that a complete abortion ban could increase Black maternal deaths by 33%.

Christina Yongue is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Education at UNCG. She's also a member of Black Girls & Women Matter Greensboro. She said the ruling comes as Black women continue to seek access to safe and quality healthcare.

“We still are trying to seek not only access to quality healthcare but the full quality healthcare for the entire duration from prenatal visits through the pregnancy and delivery,” Yongue said. “There are more Black women who are dying in childbirth. There are more Black women who are not having access to prenatal visits. There are more Black women who are not accessing mental health services after they have a child.”

RELATED: What is Roe v. Wade? | Explaining the now-overturned 1973 Supreme Court decision

CDC reports show Black women in the U.S. are three times more likely to experience a pregnancy-related death compared to white women.

Reproductive Justice Organizer Brandi Collins-Calhoun said it's important for Black families to stay informed.

“Black folks, in this moment, be radical,” Collins-Calhoun said. “Have the transformative conversations with our families with our communities and loved ones that we would normally identify as taboo. It's important that people are getting sex education with no shame or stigma attached. It's important that people are informed on the actual legal status of abortion, what abortion actually is and isn't."

Yongue and Collins-Calhoun said there are several resources and support groups that advocate for Black maternal health including SisterSong, African American Policy Forum, and Black Mamas Matter Alliance.  

RELATED: Amid abortion debate, clinic asks: Who's caring for moms?  

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