The New York Times, Letter to the Editor, June 18, 2008
Nancy Northup, President, Center for Reproductive RightsTo the Editor: Re ”The Sex Speech” (column, June 12): Nicholas D. Kristof recognizes the depth of racism and the breadth of sexism in the United States. But nonwhite women in this country face both, and suffer real consequences as a result:
African-American women are four times more likely than white women to die in childbirth.
The United States ranks first among developed nations in the number of women who die because of pregnancy-related complications. Every woman has the right to survive pregnancy. There is no reason, as Mr. Kristof notes, that the United States should not be a leader in making this basic human right a reality. That means financing reproductive health services, from contraception to maternal health care. What better way to address the intersection of racism and sexism and ”to repair America’s standing in the world” than to save women from dying during pregnancy, whether they live in an African village or Greenwich Village? Nancy Northup
Center for Reproductive Rights
New York, June 13, 2008