Placental Abruption Lawyers Representing the Black Community

The placenta connects the growing fetus to the uterus, providing oxygen, nutrients, and waste removal for the baby. After birth, the placenta detaches from the uterine wall as it is no longer needed by the mother or child. 

When the placenta detaches before the baby is born it is called a placental abruption, a life threatening condition that can put both the infant and mother’s health and safety at risk. In the United States, Black mothers are almost twice as likely as white mothers to suffer a placental abruption, and the rate of placental abruptions has increased by 92 percent in the last 20 years. And studies have shown that these figures are not due solely to socioeconomic status or access to health care alone. 

Placental Abruption Effects on Mother and Child

A placental abruption can cause serious complications for both mother and child. For the mother, a placental abruption can cause:

  • Severe hemorrhage
  • Potential of bleeding to death

For the baby, a placental abruption can cause:

Why Are Black Women More at Risk of Placental Abruption?

There is no clear answer as to why Black women experience placental abruptions at much higher rates than other races. Common risk factors for placental abruption are:

  • Maternal age: Women older than 35 are in a higher risk category
  • High blood pressure: A prior history of hypertension puts a mother more at risk
  • Trauma: Trauma, such as a car accident or fall, can cause abruptions
  • Mothers with a history of abruption: Women who have had a previous placental abruption are 10 times more likely to have one in a subsequent pregnancy


Yet even controlling for these known risk factors, Black women remain at an increased risk of an abruption compared to white women. Conditions such as placental abruptions are also much more likely to be fatal when they are experienced by a Black woman as opposed to a white counterpart. Without clear evidence as to why these figures are so high, it is not unreasonable to suspect that discrimination might be playing a role. 

Discrimination and Placental Abruption

Around seventy-five percent of Black women give birth at hospitals that serve predominantly Black patients. These hospitals provide lower quality care, have higher rates of maternal complications, and perform worse on 12 of 15 birth outcomes. Studies have estimated that the Black maternal mortality rate would fall by as much as 50 percent if these women gave birth at hospitals that serve predominantly white patients. 

When doctors try to rush delivery by excessive use of pitocin, or fail to properly monitor for signs of fetal distress, they greatly increase the chance of a placental abruption. Likewise, if a mother complains to her doctor of excessive bleeding or abdominal pain, she should immediately be examined for signs of an abruption. If not, there is every reason to suspect that the hospital staff might be medically negligent

When to Consult with a Lawyer Experienced in Discrimination

Lee Merritt, Esq. is a longtime leader and influential voice in the fight for Social Justice, representing high-profile civil rights cases like that of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black man recently shot and killed while jogging in Georgia. 

 A dedicated civil rights activist and trial attorney, Mr. Merritt runs a distinguished national practice focusing on victims of police brutality, hate crimes and corporate discrimination. As an activist, he has championed police reform and community empowerment. His office has led the way to reform in Texas, a state notorious for its failure to prosecute police officers, successfully advocating for the first murder indictments of officers in the state in over 40 years.

There are many more battles to fight on behalf of the 22 percent of Black women who report discrimination in their medical care. For a free consultation please fill out our form, write [email protected] or call us directly at 1-800-590-4116.


About S. Lee Merritt

Civil Rights Lawyer

Lee Merritt, Esq. is emerging as a leading and influential new voice in the fight for Social Justice. A dedicated civil rights activist and trial attorney, Merritt runs a high profile national practice focusing on victims of police brutality, hate crimes and corporate discrimination. As an activist, he has championed police reform and community empowerment. 

Do you need more information or want to help? 

Our organization can help mothers and their families who have faced medical issues during pregnancy learn about the resources available to them, as well as learn about what action they may be able to take legally due to discriminatory health practices.  Contact us below by email or phone and our team can learn more about your situation and give you free and friendly advice.

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