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Describing Black Birthing Experiences in Hospitals


San Francisco, CA, December 11, 2020 – Black mothers die in hospitals at nearly four times the rate of White mothers — an appalling disparity that has persisted for decades despite state and national quality improvement initiatives, clinical safety innovations, and technological advances. This disparity persists regardless of patient income, insurance, education, comorbid conditions, or prenatal care. The fact that many clinicians, decision-makers, and policymakers continue to believe this excess incidence of death is the result of something inherently wrong with Black women and childbirth is a symptom of America’s entrenched obstetric racism.

The SACRED Birth Study to fight anti-Black obstetric racism, is designed to explore how Black mothers & birthing people experience racism in hospital settings during labor, birth, and postpartum, prior to going home.

The study is led by a Black woman OBGYN and Perinatal Epidemiologist, Karen A. Scott, MD, MPH, FACOG, at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  Dr. Scott is an Associate Professor at UCSF with joint appointments in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Reproductive Sciences and Humanities & Social Sciences.  The SACRED Birth Study team consists of Black women-led community-based organizations (CBOs), Black women scholars, Black women activists, and co-conspirators consisting of non-Black women scholars.

The information gained from the study will help hospitals, health plans, scientists, funders, and the public better understand how racism and other forms of discrimination and neglect affect the way hospitals provide care, services, and support to Black mothers and birthing people during labor, birth, and immediate postpartum.

From now, through February 28, 2021, or until the goal of 1000 completed surveys is reached, Black mothers and birthing people are encouraged to participate in completing the survey which takes about 2 hours on the SACRED Birth Study website at

Contact Information

Please send media inquiries or requests to: Danielle Reid, DR and Associates, on behalf of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), 615-933-3681,

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