A Health Podyssey
A Health Podyssey
Feb 22, 2022
Monica Simpson Examines Black Women's Lived Experiences with Sexual and Reproductive Health Care Services
Play • 32 min

Racism manifests in different ways for different people in different environments.


For many Black women, experiences with sexual and reproductive health reveal cross-cutting themes of racism, sexism, and classism, all expressed in the context of strong social norms and prejudices regarding Black women and reproduction. 


Attention to poor health outcomes for Black women has grown recently in part due to stories of negative maternity experiences of prominent Black women, such as Serena Williams. Congress has gotten into the act as well and taken steps to address the crisis of high rates of maternal mortality among Black women. 


But what are the individual experiences behind this crisis?


Monica Simpson, executive director of Sister Song, joins A Health Podyssey to discuss a paper her and coauthors published in the February 2022 issue of Health Affairs, an issue devoted entirely to the topic of racism and health. They examined the reproductive health experiences of Black women in the South.


They found that Black women's experiences navigating sexual and reproductive care were informed by both structural and individual racism, often leading to poorer quality care and likely worst health outcomes.


If you enjoy this interview, order the February 2022 Health Affairs Racism & Health theme issue.

Listen to Health Affairs Pathways.

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