Volume XXIV

Addressing the Black Maternal Mortality Crisis in the Wake of Dobbs

by Kira Eidson

Black people who can become pregnant and give birth were dying from pregnancy-related causes at rates more than double the national average before the Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, and the Dobbs decision is expected to make America’s maternal mortality crisis worse. This Note discusses the expected effects of abortion restrictions on maternal mortality rates and the causes of racial disparity in maternal outcomes. This Note argues that existing policy is insufficient to respond to the seismic change in the reproductive rights landscape caused by Dobbs, and that to mitigate the consequential expected rise in maternal mortality among Black women, states must implement a comprehensive policy framework to advance reproductive justice. The Note concludes with recommendations for such a reproductive justice policy framework.

Edison Note