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Why Are So Many Women Dying During Childbirth in One of the World's Richest Nations? -- FUSION Explores Answer in New Doc

‘The Naked Truth: Death by Delivery’ Reported by FUSION’s Nelufar Hedayat Premieres on International Women’s Day — March 8 @ 9PM ET

As the battle over women’s bodies heats up, FUSION investigates an often overlooked crisis that is killing American mothers. American women today are dying during childbirth at higher rates than in 1987, and African American women are up to four times more likely to die of pregnancy related causes than their white counterparts. FUSION’s Nelufar Hedayat investigates this domestic crisis and the human rights issues surrounding the shocking hike in maternal mortality rates in the one-hour documentary, “The Naked Truth: Death by Delivery.” The doc premieres during a special night of programming to mark United Nations’ International Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8 @ 9PM ET on FUSION TV (channel listings).


While the conversation about reproductive health care continues to be a flashpoint in Washington, there is one aspect that is often ignored in the mainstream press: the U.S. lags behind much of the world in terms of ensuring the lives of mothers. Despite spending more money on healthcare than any other high-income country, the U.S. maternal mortality rate is worse than 45 other countries, including Kazakhstan and Libya. In fact, the U.S. is the only developed country where maternal mortality rates have increased in recent years.

From rural Georgia to the streets of New York City, Nelufar takes us behind the numbers and introduces the real women affected by this crisis while illustrating that the disparity in prenatal care is not relegated to rural communities. We learn that in New York City, black women are up to 12 times more likely to die in or just after childbirth.

According to the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Katrina Anderson, “If the numbers were reversed and white women were dying at the rate the black women are dying there’d be the political will to address this problem.”

“The risk of dying from a pregnancy complication should not depend on one’s race or zip code,” said FUSION’s Nelufar Hedayat. “The question remains whether Congress or the new administration, which has yet to show any interest in reproductive rights or in addressing the nation’s history of systemic racism, will support the changes needed to reduce the shocking number of American women who are dying to become moms.”


“The Naked Truth: Death by Delivery” is produced FUSION and Lightbox, the production company founded by Oscar-winner Simon Chinn (“Man on Wire,” “Searching for Sugar Man”) and Emmy-award winner Jonathan Chinn (“American High”). Simon Chinn, Jonathan Chinn, Suzanne Lavery, Keith Summa, and Justine Gubar serve as executive producers.

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