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  • Writer's pictureD.P. Stephens

Death by a Thousand Cuts

Examining Black Women's Sexual Health outcomes using a Reproductive Justice Lens

During her last pregnancy, Beyonce experienced "toxemia" or pre eclampsia, a pregnancy complication that involves high blood pressure and protein in the urine, estimated to affect about 3.4% of pregnancies in the United States. Tennis sensation Serena Williams also went through 24 hours after giving birth were six days of uncertainty that began 24 hours after giving birth. She experienced blood clots in the lung, that led to such intense coughing that her C-section wound popped open. These two highly successful and financially secure women's frightening childbirth experiences are all too real for the thousands of Black women in the United States face during childbirth -- complications that many do not survive. Researchers assert that these disparities in death rates and overall poorer health outcomes have everything to do with the lived experience of being a black woman in America.

Using a Reproductive Justice lens, this talk draws upon Black women's sexual health outcomes research and its connections to history, and culture and influences. This address was presented at Wellesley College & Ashok University's Global Sex/ Education Conference in New Delhi, India. You can also view this on Youtube.

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