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Exposing the Problem of Maternal Death in the USA

America has the highest maternal mortality rate of any industrialized country in the world. More than two women die every day in the USA from pregnancy-related causes, and 3 to 4 times as many Black women as White are at-risk or die during pregnancy. Raising awareness about this preventable issue gives a platform to Black women to share their experiences, and educates and empowers communities to push for change. This documentary exposes the disparities that have persisted for generations.
About Our Partner

Commonsense Childbirth Inc.

Inspiring change in maternal child health care systems; reducing disparities; saving lives. We believe EVERY woman deserves a healthy baby - we aim to re-empower the birthing mother, father, family and community by supporting the providers, practitioners and agencies that are charged with their care.

The Problem

Mothers in Africa are dying needlessly everyday due to lack of resources and cultural behaviors. Surprisingly, African-American women in the USA are also dying or are harmed by pregnancy-related complications as well. Italian photographer/filmmaker Paolo Patruno has spent over 4 years documenting the women of Africa in their struggle to find adequate maternity care and is now recording the considerable racial disparities and maternal health outcomes experienced by Black women in the USA.

The Solution

While media attention is now directed to the violence that surrounds black men in the US, it is crucial to remember that black women are by far the largest demographic to suffer maternal deaths; it has been this way for decades and yet they are seldom able to make their voices heard. Through Paolo's documentary "the AMERICAN dream" he gives women the opportunity to tell their own stories, engage the public and influence policy as they shed light on an issue that seems to be getting worse.


This project aims to raise national and international awareness on a growing problem in the US. African-American mothers are harmed and are dying at an alarming rate compared to mothers of other races. Through his documentary, Paolo Patruno highlights the issues that face these women. The goal is to start the dialogue that will get African-American women access to the health care treatment they need and to lower the maternal morbidity and death rate for Black women in America.

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