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Exclusive: ‘Dear Black Women,’ A Letter From Vice President Kamala Harris On Maternal Health

Black women in this country are facing a maternal mortality crisis. Black women die of pregnancy related causes at three times the rate of other women, regardless of income or education levels. And we know the primary reasons why: systemic racial inequities and implicit bias.

Last week, I invited several Black women to the White House to share their stories of pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum complications. The stories I heard had many things in common, but one refrain stood out: Black women are not being heard.

We have to change that. So I’d like to share a few things I think every Black woman should know when she begins her journey toward becoming a mother.

You are allowed to ask questions. And you must.

One courageous woman, Donna Trim-Stewart, joined us at the White House to share the story of her daughter, Arika Trim. Arika was a former Capitol Hill staffer who died unexpectedly a week after giving birth. Ms. Trim-Stewart is now the primary caretaker of Arika’s son, Djai.