Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Human Rights Education (HRE)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

David Donahue


The state of Black reproductive health is in crisis with mortality rates of birthing people in the U.S. being the worst in the developed world. What compounds this issue is historical and cultural evidence of unethical and inhumane treatment of Black people – Black birthing people in particular – by the U.S. healthcare system primarily due to racism and sexism. Those who do not identify with the binary and heteronormative structures of our healthcare system are at further risk of discrimination and health disparities. Due to social and cultural ideals, stigma, and other structural forces, Black, Black birthing and Black LGBTQIA+ individuals have been left to endure various forms of violence that impact their lives. Research on the relationship and intersection of these populations, their reproductive rights, and the U.S. healthcare system is lacking. The research that is available gives promising suggestions on how to rectify these issues, but within a system that reinforces racism, sexism, and other discriminatory tactics with little to no alternatives. This study will examine those relationships and highlight how the U.S. healthcare system’s discriminatory foundation historically contributed and continues to contribute to the healthcare crisis impacting Black people. It will also discuss what safe and competent care would and should look like for these populations.