Washington, DC – On this Indigenous Peoples Day, a day set aside to celebrate the rich culture and contributions of the native peoples of this land, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) honors the strength shown by Indigenous women, including among ACOG’s membership, as they lift up and pursue equity for their communities.
ACOG and its members also pause to acknowledge the legacy of abuse and inequities that Indigenous women and people face in the United States. We affirm the need for comprehensive approaches to build a new legacy for Indigenous people and to end the systemic and preventable injustices that impact Indigenous communities.
A history of racism and bias have contributed to a lack of data to fully understand the tragic implications of violence and abuse faced by Indigenous communities, though some estimates report that four out of five Indigenous women experience violence. This crisis is further compounded by health inequities; American Indian and Alaska Native people die at higher rates than other Americans from many conditions and the maternal mortality rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives is more than twice that of white people.
ACOG continues to partner with the Indian Health Service to address health disparities and ensure that all Indigenous women are provided with compassionate, respectful, patient-centered care. We advocate for policy solutions to improve the federal government’s response to investigations of missing and murdered Indigenous women and urge Congress to enact legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act, which would address gender-based violence and increase funding for the Indian Health Service. This work has been led by and enriched by the members who have dedicated themselves to improving Indigenous women’s health, including the hundreds who have served on our American Indian/Alaska Native Women’s Health Committee.
- Committee Opinion on Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Committee Opinion on Health Care for Urban American Indian and Alaska Native Women
- Joint Statement: Collective Action Addressing Racism