News Release

Obstetrics & Gynecology devotes special issue to addressing racism in reproductive health

Input came from doulas, lawyers, midwives, nurses, obstetrician–gynecologists and subspecialists, patients, public health experts, and sociologists

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Wolters Kluwer Health

September 8, 2023 As part of its active efforts to dismantle systemic racism and promote principles of equity and inclusion within its editorial processes and content, Obstetrics & Gynecology, the official journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has devoted its entire October 2023 issue to addressing racism in reproductive health. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer

A journal with such a rich history must root out inequity 

"Let us be honest in admitting that the pages we have published in nearly 70 years have not always been a safe space for historically marginalized people, with serious implications," urges Ebony B. Carter, MD, MPH, the journal's Associate Editor for Equity, in an introductory editorial. "This includes impeding scientific progress in achieving reproductive health equity, limiting the careers of colleagues from historically marginalized communities, and advancing narratives that portend that mothers and pregnancy-capable people are culpable in their adverse outcomes." 

Dr. Carter specializes in maternal–fetal medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She notes that "racism is woven into the fabric of every aspect of American society through intersectional systems of oppression," with medicine and academic publishing being no exception. "I have encountered multiple obstetrics and gynecology colleagues vehemently denying this fact, but to do so is to embrace the notion that disparate health outcomes for historically marginalized people in this country are a foregone conclusion." 

A diversity of expertise and thought guided the development of the special issue 

A transdisciplinary Steering Committee set aspirational goals for the special issue and held a live webinar to introduce them to readers and potential authors. It also created an Equity Rubric, published in the issue, to guide writing and peer review, and expanded the reviewer pool to include faculty who have the expertise to review scientific articles about health equity, now and in the future. Of 120 submissions, 27 were included. A sampling of topics: 

  • Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Antepartum Anemia and Severe Maternal Morbidity 

  • Multilevel Community Engagement to Inform a Randomized Clinical Trial 

  • Chronic Hypertension in Pregnancy and Racial–Ethnic Disparities in Complications 

  • Obstetric Clinical Trial Diversity: Analysis of Trial Focus and Representation From 2007 to 2020 

  • Historical Primer on Obstetrics and Gynecology Health Inequities in America 

  • Strategies to Promote Maternal Health Equity: The Role of Perinatal Quality Collaboratives 

  • Racial Disparities in the Infertility Journey 

  • Why Causation Matters: Rethinking "Race" as a Risk Factor 

  • Reproductive Justice in the U.S. Immigration Detention System 

  • Transcending Language Barriers in Obstetrics and Gynecology 

  • Structural Racism and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes Through the Lens of Maternal Microbiome 

  • The Power of Language in Hospital Care for Pregnant and Birthing People 

  • Data Equity for Asian and Pacific Islander People in Reproductive Health Research 

  • Bridging Health Disparities and Improving Reproductive Outcomes With Doula Programs  

  • The Future of Research on Racism in Reproductive Health 

The entire issue is open access. Dr. Carter expresses the hope that it will "serve as a primer for some, and a reference document for others, as we work to equip our field with the necessary tools to address and mitigate the effect of racism on obstetrics and gynecology." 

[Read the Early Release of Special Issue Articles: Racism in Reproductive Health, Lighting a Path to Health Equity]

Wolters Kluwer provides trusted clinical technology and evidence-based solutions that engage clinicians, patients, researchers and students in effective decision-making and outcomes across healthcare. We support clinical effectiveness, learning and research, clinical surveillance and compliance, as well as data solutions. For more information about our solutions, visit and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @WKHealth


About Obstetrics & Gynecology 

Obstetrics & Gynecology, the official journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), is a valuable resource for any physician specializing in women's health. This peer-reviewed journal is the most prestigious in its field. Each monthly issue provides readers with premier clinical research on current developments in obstetrics, gynecology, and women's total health care. The journal regularly features ACOG practice guidelines, editorials, current commentaries, and reviews, as well as periodic supplements. 

About the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is the premier professional membership organization for obstetrician–gynecologists. The College produces practice guidelines for health care professionals and educational materials for patients, provides practice management and career support, facilitates programs and initiatives to improve women's health, and advocates for members and patients. It has more than 60,000 members in North and South America. 

About Wolters Kluwer 

Wolters Kluwer (EURONEXT: WKL) is a global leader in professional information, software solutions, and services for the healthcare, tax and accounting, financial and corporate compliance, legal and regulatory, and corporate performance and ESG sectors. We help our customers make critical decisions every day by providing expert solutions that combine deep domain knowledge with specialized technology and services.  

Wolters Kluwer reported 2022 annual revenues of €5.5 billion. The group serves customers in over 180 countries, maintains operations in over 40 countries, and employs approximately 20,900 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. 

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