AABC Statement on Racial Justice
AABC stands in solidarity with all who are working to effect change at the community, state, and national levels. Recent events are drawing national attention to the urgent need to address systemic racism and its impact on people in our country.
AABC member birth centers are on the front line in their communities helping families cope with the stress, grief, anger, and pain that are now in the national spotlight. We have seen birth centers provide counseling to clients on the risks of exposure to tear gas during pregnancy. We have seen birth centers boarded up and having to relocate births to a safer location.
We already know systemic racism affects maternal and infant health:
- African American women have nearly a three times greater risk of dying from pregnancy-related complications than White women, and this and other disparities have worsened in recent years. The U.S. has the highest rate of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth of any developed country.
- African American infants continue to experience significantly higher rates of both preterm birth and low birth weight, and have more than double the risk of dying before their first birthday compared with White infants. In communities affected by poverty, the risk is substantially higher.
We also know that birth centers providing culturally sensitive care to families and communities at risk have been shown to decrease disparities in maternal and infant outcomes. We are committed to partnering with organizations specifically supporting midwives of color and birth centers serving marginalized communities. We acknowledge and hold ourselves accountable for the pain that has occurred as a result of racism in our organization. AABC is engaged in, and committed to, the hard work needed to become actively antiracist.
Please join us as we stand for racial justice, equity, and the basic right to feel safe. Only then can our society begin to heal.