Reproductive Injustice: The Truth About Childbirth in the U.S.

Briana Simmons
Content Type
Working Paper
Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
All the processes leading to pregnancy, from maturation of the reproductive organs during puberty for males and females, to menstruation, and sex, are normal experiences within the life cycles of many. Yet, puberty is rarely fully explained, menstruation is “taboo” and well does sex education exist anymore? To make matters worse, women and their babies are still dying from preventable causes during or shortly after childbirth. About 99% of maternal deaths occur in the “developing” world with a maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in 2015 at 239 per 100,000 live births versus 12 per 100,000 in “developed” countries. The U.S. spends the most on pregnancy and childbirth, but women still have a greater risk of dying to pregnancy related complications than women in 40 other countries, according to Amnesty International. Within the U.S. race increases the likelihood of disparities in pregnancy outcomes no matter educational or economic status.
Gender Issues, Human Rights, Reproductive Rights, Sex Education
Political Geography
United States, North America