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Tackling Infant Mortality Rates Among African Americans

Amanda Ralph is the kind of woman whose babies are prone to die. She is young and poor and dropped out of school after the ninth grade.

But there is also an undeniable link between Ms. Ralph’s race — she is black — and whether her baby will survive: nationally, black babies are more than twice as likely as white babies to die before the age of 1. Here in Pittsburgh, the rate is five times.

So, seven months into her firstpregnancy, Ms. Ralph, 20, is lying on a couch at home as a nurse from a federally financed program listens to the heartbeat of her fetus.

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