Michigan has one of the highest death rates among Black pregnant people in the country. Black and Indigenous Michiganders live with reduced access to health care, fewer financial resources, less access to stable housing, and more food insecurity. During pregnancy, these harms are compounded by providers and institutions that devalue their lives. This compounded harm underlies the increased risk of pregnancy-related deaths and complications in Black and Indigenous communities. Medically, pregnancy-related deaths are frequently attributed to blood loss, infection, or heart complications, and pregnancy-related complications are attributed to high blood pressure and blood loss. However, these outcomes reflect systems and institutions that fail to provide Black and Indigenous people with comprehensive, high-quality care. Increasing access to doulas, midwives and birth workers would significantly improve Michigan’s Black and Indigenous pregnancy-related outcomes.
This extended fact sheet was produced alongside Mothering Justice, a Michigan-based grassroots policy advocacy organization that provides mothers of color in America with the resources and tools to use their power to make equitable changes in policy. Mothering Justice is dedicated to improving the quality of life for families in America by empowering mothers of color to take action on American policy on behalf of themselves and their families. Learn more at motheringjustice.org.