The shameful secret is out: Although the number of women who die in childbirth globally has fallen in recent decades, the rates in the U.S. have gone up. Since 1987 maternal mortality has doubled in the U.S. Now approximately 800 maternal deaths occur every year. One of the most striking takeaways from examining the data is racial disparity: Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related conditions such as cardiac issues and hemorrhage and to bear the brunt of serious complications as well. That risk is equally shared by all black women regardless of income, education or geographical location. In other words, the factors that typically protect people during pregnancy are not protective for black women.