Racial disparities in maternal mortality are exacerbated by COVID-19

The expanded use of cesareans, which has increased from 5.5% of deliveries in 1970 to 31.9% in 2018, is one factor University of California, Irvine School of Law professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin identifies as contributing to maternal mortality. “Oftentimes, these are matters of surgical missteps, along with underlying institutional and structural problems that result in the failure to appropriately care and respond,” Goodwin says.