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Heath advocates in North Carolina are sounding the alarm on the state’s proposed anti-DEI bill targeting federally-funded medical schools. Some believe if the legislation passes that it could have a detrimental effect on the work the medical schools are doing to combat the Black maternal health crisis.

In March, North Carolina Republican Rep. Greg Murphy introduced the “Embracing Anti-discrimination, Unbiased Curricula, and Advancing Truth in Education (EDUCATE) Act.” 

According to a press release by Congressman Greg Murphy, the bill would cut off federal funding to medical schools that force students or faculty to adopt specific beliefs, discriminate based on race or ethnicity, or have diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

The bill would also require accreditation agencies to check that their standards do not push these practices while still allowing instruction about race-related health issues or collecting data for research.

“Discriminatory DEI practices have rapidly permeated medical schools across the country at great harm to the field of medicine,” Congressman Greg Murphy, M.D. said in the press release. Political ideology has no place in the classroom, especially when lives are on the line.

But health advocates are aggressively pushing back against Republicans and their fight to end DEI programs saying their efforts could stifle progress made in creating medical school courses that are inclusive to everyone. Advocates also pointed to racial health disparities as the main reason DEI programs were so important. 

“The racial health disparities we are seeing today are unacceptable,” Dr. Versha Pleasant, a clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School, told CNN. “There is an urgent need for positive change in our medical system and we are not going to see that positive change unless we make the conscious effort to educate our medical students who represent the future.”

Pleasant also told CNN that the anti-DEI bill proposed by the GOP could jeopardize the work schools are doing to fight against the Black maternal health crisis.

Pregnancy-related deaths are soaring in the U.S. among Black women, according to a 2023 study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.As previously reported, last year, the analysis found that maternal death rates had more than doubled among Black women.

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2021, the maternal mortality rate among non-Hispanic Black women was 69.9 deaths per 100,000 live births, marking a rate 2.6 times higher than that of non-Hispanic White women, standing at 26.6. The rates for Black women were notably elevated in contrast to those for white and Hispanic women.

“We are doing our medical students an incredible disservice by eliminating DEI in the curriculum,” Pleasant said. If the bill is passed, “our future health care workforce will not have adequate tools to combat racism and bias in medicine.”

Click here to see a full list of DEI bills that have been introduced.

SEE ALSO:

GOP Lawmakers Take More Steps Toward Trying To Eliminate DEI Nationwide

The post North Carolina’s Anti-DEI Bill Is Detrimental To Black Maternal Health, Advocates Say appeared first on NewsOne.

North Carolina’s Anti-DEI Bill Is Detrimental To Black Maternal Health, Advocates Say  was originally published on newsone.com