Segments in this Video

Infant Mortality Among Poor Blacks (03:04)


Black babies die at three times the rate of white babies in America. In Memphis, babies most at risk come from neighborhoods of poor black people. Outsiders tend to blame the citizens for their poverty and for the high infant morality.

Segregation and Teen Pregnancies (03:40)

Memphis continues to be the second most segregated city in the U.S. Whites from right side of the town mentor young black women and men. Children are having children, adding to the risk of infant mortality.

Premature Babies: Risks and Costs (05:01)

Unwed mothers in Memphis gave birth to over 5000 babies in one year. Premature births are the greatest risk to babies. The Med's neonatal intensive care unit saves nearly 1000 preemies each year. It can cost a half million dollars to save one baby.

Cemetery for Babies (02:55)

Most poor black families to not have the money to place their babies in private cemeteries. The Health Dept. buries babies in communal graves in what the city calls "Babyland."

Memphis Safe House (04:15)

Children come to a safe house to escape the dangers that they face every day. The poor part of Memphis has the second highest homicide rate after Detroit. Most people suffer from PTSD from the violence.

Disenfranchised Poor (03:01)

Poor people generally do not believe they have the right to quality housing, good medical care, and good community support. Twelve and thirteen-year-old girls are giving birth and raising their babies alone.

Value of Public Health Clinics (03:47)

A female physician feels it is her responsibility to supply basic education to pregnant teens. She urges them to get GEDs. One-on-one contact with a visiting nurse is an effectively influences the health of a low-income mother and her baby.

Society Fails Its Babies (03:05)

Infant deaths do not get priority in the press, yet they account for more than all other deaths combined for children up to age 18. Infant mortality is a result of historically inadequate social services and the downward spiral of poverty.

Better Off Fatherless? (04:15)

Within two months of his daughter's birth, a teen is shot to death outside his home. Though she had acknowledged he was a "thug,", the young mother is distraught at the funeral.

Unemployment and Teen Pregnancies (03:32)

A teen mother takes two buses to get to a part-time job that pays minimum wage. She leaves her baby with a friend. Unemployment is rising at the same time teen pregnancies are rising in Memphis. A summer youth jobs program attracts 6000 teens.

Who Is Responsible for Infant Mortality? (03:46)

The Memphis Health Dept. faces funding cuts, which hurt programs that fight infant mortality. The health department gives an annual baby shower for pregnant and teen mothers. Funding must be provided by non-profit organizations.

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Babyland: Infant Mortality in Memphis, TN

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There are places in America where the infant mortality rate echoes that of a developing world country. This ABC News program travels to Memphis, Tennessee—epicenter of the nation’s worst infant death statistics—to investigate the issue and explore possible solutions. Viewers visit a cemetery with the heartrending epithet “Babyland” and witness an unusual pairing between a black teen mother-to-be and a white suburban church volunteer trying to prevent another tragic outcome. Studying premature birth, the main factor behind infant mortality, the program also profiles Memphis residents dedicated to raising awareness of, and spurring action on, our health care system’s most deplorable failing. Viewer discretion is advised. Original ABC News broadcast title: Babyland. (43 minutes)

Length: 42 minutes

Item#: BVL40060

ISBN: 978-1-60825-106-3

Copyright date: ©2008

Closed Captioned

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