(Courtesy of Unsplash)

By Joshua Moore
Special to the AFRO

Reproductive health has been a major issue among women in the Black and Brown community for some time, and now the topic is finally getting the attention it deserves. Power to Decide, an organization that strives to make known the dangers, myths and solutions of reproduction health to the public, celebrated its 25th anniversary on Aug. 17.

CEO of Power to Decide, Dr. Raegan McDonald Mosley, has dedicated her life to addressing the reproductive health needs in her community throughout her time in Tanzania, at Planned Parenthood of Maryland and the Planned Parenthood Federation.

Dr. Mosely said that Black women are more likely to experience severe complications through childbirth, compared to other races. “Black women are 2 to 3 times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth than White women,” Dr. Mosely said. “There’s a lot we have to do as a nation to improve health outcomes, not just for Black women, but for everybody.”

Some things that could contribute to a higher risk of complications in in women of color are hypertension and cardiac disease. These health issues circle back to social determinants of health as Dr. Mosely explained.

There are a number of other factors that increase risk including experiencing racism and living in a food desert. 

One myth, in particular, that Dr. Mosely wanted to debunk is how scary abortion really is. 

She said that it’s actually quite common for women to get abortions. According to her, 1 in 4 women will get at least one abortion in their lives. With the normality of abortions, Dr. Mosely recommended this Abortion Finder site that provides abortion centers in a woman’s local area. 

“Given the commonality of it, you might know someone who has had an abortion.” Dr. Mosely said. 

There are certain areas of reproductive health that she wants people to be more aware of as well. For example, there are rising rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. In a 2019 study by the CDC, there were 2.5 million new cases of these three STIs. These cases may go up because of lack of resources due to the pandemic. 

Dr. Raegan wants women to know there are birth control pills, contraceptive implants, and a number of devices that will help with safe sex without the risk of pregancy. It isn’t just one or two forms of birth control, there are many possible ways to have safe sex. She recommends Bedsider.org, this site provides plenty of birth control methods so that women could find the options they need to be safe. 

For more information on Power to Decide and reproductive health, visit www.powertodecide.org/.

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