Graduation Date


Document Type

Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Science

Primary Major

Interdisciplinary Studies

Program Director

Chase Clow, PhD

Thesis Advisor

Carlos Rodriguez, MA


This essay examines California’s legislation, activism, and the role of women’s clinics in serving Black communities in the fight against maternal mortality. Maternal mortality is a death related to pregnancy or childbirth. In the United States, maternal mortality rates have been increasing since the beginning of the 21st century and there is a significant racial disparity with Black women being at greater risk. Despite national rates increasing, California has managed to decrease maternal mortality rates (MMR) since the early 2000s by adopting legislation and policies that work to decrease preventable deaths, multidisciplinary maternity care for the protection of Black women, and the funding of women’s clinics that can offer important health services for pregnant individuals. The steps that California has taken can serve as an example for the rest of the country to combat rising MMR of Black women.