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In rural Georgia, cervical cancer is still disproportionately killing Black women

1/21/2022, WABE

A report by Human Rights Watch and Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative calls for lifting barriers to basic gynecological care and for Medicaid expansion in Georgia.

More than 9 out of 10 cases of cervical cancer are preventable, according to Atlanta’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That’s because there’s a highly effective vaccine for both girls and boys that stops HPV, the virus that causes cervical cancer. Even beyond prevention, treatment is highly effective if caught early.

But as you venture away from Georgia’s core urban areas, the incidence of cervical cancer grows. For Black women, especially in Georgia’s rural counties, that cancer claims lives disproportionately.

Annerieke Daniel is a researcher in the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, and Baker County community researcher Dr. Kay Eady is with the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative. The organizations just co-published a study, from their research of 148 women of color from rural Georgia. 

See more: Black Women are dying from Cervical Cancer at Disproportional Rates in Georgia | Human Rights Watch (

Both researchers sat down with WABE’s “All Things Considered” host Jim Burress to discuss some alarming findings. Listen to the story at the link below.

Lily Oppenheimer contributed to this report.

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