Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most – The New York Times

Source: Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Pregnant women exposed to high temperatures or air pollution are more likely to have children who are premature, underweight or stillborn, and African-American mothers and babies are harmed at a much higher rate than the population at large, according to sweeping new research examining more than 32 million births in the United States.

Jada Shirriel, , chief executive officer of Healthy Start at her office in Pittsburgh. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

Women’s Media CenterEssence Magazine and Lean In Foundation are some of the organizations that conducted research on the impact of COVID-19 on Black women, womyn and femmes in the United States. The Essence report released in May also shows the impact of Black women in America, who are disproportionately in high-risk, high-exposure jobs like store clerks and healthcare work: One in four knows someone who has died of the coronavirus, and 44% knows someone who has contracted the virus. Additionally, of the 1,048 respondents, 85% of Black women did not have the technology necessary to support educational needs of children in their care due to the move to online learning.

Early statements of “we’re in this together” and descriptions of COVID-19 as the “great equalizer” ring as hollow as “Most Livable City.” Pittsburgh is not a most livable city, as we see time and time again. After the City of Pittsburgh’s Gender Equity Commission released a report on race and gender inequities in September 2019, the swift and powerful response from the Black community focused on the erasure of Black women and femmes in the process. Although not initially intended to be a report on the “state of Black women” in Pittsburgh, due to the huge disparities faced by Black women, the report’s findings focused on Black women and how inhospitable the city is to our wellbeing on nearly every measure.

The research adds to a growing body of evidence that minorities bear a disproportionate share of the danger from pollution and global warming. Not only are minority communities in the United States far more likely to be hotter than the surrounding areas, a phenomenon known as the “heat island” effect, but they are also more likely to be located near polluting industries.

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