Dissenting Statement and Rebuttal of Commissioner Gail L. Heriot in U.S. Commission on Civil Right Report: Racial Disparities on Maternal Health

20 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2021 Last revised: 13 Oct 2021

See all articles by Gail L. Heriot

Gail L. Heriot

University of San Diego School of Law

Date Written: September 15, 2021

Abstract

On September 15, 2021, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights published a report entitled Racial Disparities in Maternal Health (the “Report”). This Dissenting Statement and Rebuttal (the “Statement”) is a part of that report.

Among other things, the Statement points out several errors in Report. For example, the Report incorrectly states that maternal mortality has increased 50% over the last generation. What has actually happened is that changes in death certificates have caused more deaths to be classified as maternal in nature. The Report also emphasizes the theory that racism plays a prominent role in causing racial disparities in maternal mortality. The Statement points out in response that maternal mortality rates for Hispanic and Asian American mothers are lower than the rate for white mothers. This tends to detract from the theory that racism is what’s causing the disparities.

Keywords: Maternal Mortality, Racial Disparities, Mortality Rates, Commission on Civil Rights

Suggested Citation

Heriot, Gail L., Dissenting Statement and Rebuttal of Commissioner Gail L. Heriot in U.S. Commission on Civil Right Report: Racial Disparities on Maternal Health (September 15, 2021). San Diego Legal Studies Paper 21-028, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3924645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3924645

Gail L. Heriot (Contact Author)

University of San Diego School of Law ( email )

5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States

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