Allies are essential, especially when it comes to Black maternal health. Statistics show that Black women are three to four times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related crisis than white women.

Innovators, health advocates and practitioners are working to end the adverse maternal health outcomes with advances in technology. Men are critical in speaking up against maternal health inequities. When women are fighting for their lives in a medical system riddled with systemic flaws, they are essential allies. 

Here’s why it is important for men to advocate for maternal health equity.

The Missing Link in the Healthcare System

The healthcare system is not only failing women, but also severely impacts men. Charles Johnson, founder and board chair at 4Kira4Moms, explained that often, when partners or loved ones are mistreated, dismissed, or misdiagnosed, men become traumatized as witnesses. 

Maternal mortality forever alters men’s lives. The trauma can cause severe stress. Unfortunately, this trauma is rarely addressed for men. Supporting a victim of medical trauma requires support. Maternal deaths are preventable, and Johnson explained that the healthcare system and doctors know what needs to be done. It’s simply about accountability and resources. Doctors, politicians, and healthcare leaders must focus on eliminating bias and racism. This means listening and humanizing Black women. 

“The healthcare system must stop ignoring the Black female patients’ pleas, needs and wishes,” Johnson said. “They must treat Black women as priority patients when complications arise.” 

Widespread education about maternity health is also key, as well as incorporating the use of doulas and midwives into U.S. birthing plans as the standard of practice.

Bruce McIntyre III, founder of saveArose Foundation, said that the number one birth equity solution is the legalization of certified professional midwives in all states. This will provide financial stability for midwifery-led birth centers and at-home births, as well as midwifery-integrated hospitals backed by insurance and government aid. 

“White male gynecologists weaponized and stole traditional midwifery practices,” McIntrye said. “It’s time to give the power back to midwives.”

Men’s Role in the Maternal Health Crisis

The maternal health crisis in the U.S. impacts everyone.

“Maternal mortality is a human rights issue, not a women’s issue,” Johnson said. “There are only two types of people in our country. Either you are a mother or you have one, so it should be a concern for us all.”  

The reality is that men have louder voices in the room when it comes to healthcare and maternal rights. This is why, Johnson explained, it is critical for men to speak up about what’s going on with maternal health care. It is critical for men to be strong allies. 

McIntyre believes men should educate themselves on maternal health and autonomy to create better outcomes. He wants men to know that it’s important to speak up as this will inevitably impact someone they know and love. 

“This is our fight too,” he said. “In order to save mankind, we must save our women first.”

Organizations Making an Impact


Johnson founded 4Kira4Moms after losing his wife, Kira, during a routine C-section in 2016. The mission is to eradicate U.S. maternal mortality by eliminating all preventable pregnancy related deaths in the U.S. by 2030.

Through education, advocacy, and legislation, 4Kira4Moms works to bring awareness to the maternal mortality epidemic in the U.S. Johnson shared that the org will continue its focus and expansion of community engagement through its Maternal Health Block Parties, as well as annual fundraisers to raise money and resources. 

In 2024, 4Kira4Moms will continue its legislative efforts and support of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act. They also offer new program that focuses on fathers, The Paternal Center of Excellence. The program provides training and support for fathers so that they can advocate for mothers and children. 

saveArose Foundation

After the death of his late spouse Amber Rose Isaac, Bruce McIntyre III founded saveArose Foundation. The ultimate goal of the organization is to combat system flaws within the medical system, as well as to bolster better birthing solutions. 

“It is our fundamental right [as Black people] to birth safely and live to talk about it,” McIntrye said.

In addition to hosting countless educational workshops, events, and panel discussions on advocacy, saveArose focuses on giving essentials to mothers in need. The organization is also featured in the award-winning, Emmy nominated documentary, “Aftershock,” on Hulu

McIntrye is currently working to create the first-ever, free-standing midwifery-led birthing center in the Bronx. He has also crafted, influenced, and collaborated on maternal/paternal health legislation throughout the U.S., such as New York state’s birthing center bill. The saveArose Foundation was also a part of the process of passing the bill that made doula services covered by insurance. The organization is currently working to pass the Grieving Families Act (GFA) that allows for families to sue hospitals for grief and anguish. 

How to Get Involved 

McIntrye believes in the value of advocacy and men speaking up. 

“In a world where Black women already feel unheard, it’s our responsibility to amplify their voices and to make sure they are heard and seen also,” McIntrye said.

Johnson encouraged men to advocate by voting. This holds local and federal leaders accountable to make changes and to fund programs and organizations doing the work. Men can also join in the fight to end Black maternal mortality by volunteering, supporting initiatives and donating at

If you aren’t an expectant father, you can still join this fight, Johnson added. Men can speak out on behalf of your mother, sister, aunt, and the women in your life. Men can also ask questions to those trusted women about how to help them. 

“Be an advocate,” Johnson said. “Join and support community based organizations like 4Kira4Moms, lend your voice and resources.”