Exclusive: These Black Mothers And Doctors Are Rallying Around Elizabeth Warren To Fight Against Maternal Mortality
Warren wants Black women to feel safe while delivering a baby.
February 19, 2020 at 6:26 pm
Elizabeth Warren is tackling the maternal health crisis that disproportionately affects Black women.
Warren's campaign is listening to Black mothers, some of whom feel ignored when speaking out about bearing children.
"Black women are 3 to 4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women in America," according to Warren's latest video.
According to Amnesty USA, a nonprofit human rights organization, this disparity between Black women and white women has been consistent for about 60 years. Four million women give birth each year in the United States, and "childbirth related care is the most common reason for hospitalization."
"Towards the end of my pregnancy, at 32 weeks, I came in for a visit and I had high blood pressure," Schyneida Williams, a Black woman featured in Warren's video, said. "And they locked me in the hospital, letting me know that, 'Oh, we need to keep you here. You have preeclampsia. And you're going to be induced.'"
"I had no idea what they meant. Nobody explained even what being induced meant," Williams said.
Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure condition resulting from pregnancy, and it is sometimes coupled with fluid retention and proteinuria. Preeclampsia is the beginning of eclampsia, a much more severe and deadly condition, leading to potential seizures and clotting problems.
William said she was induced for three days.
Black women's maternal death ratio was about eight times higher than the Healthy People 2010 goal, a government-funded study that records a decade's worth of information, according to Amnesty USA.
"It's scary, the whole process is scary — even if you're not a Black woman," Monica Cannon-Grant, another Black woman in the video, said. "But to be a Black woman and not have people listen to you and go through the process is worse."
In her opinion, Grant thinks there is a sigma that Black women are stronger than most women, and therefore, the concern of their survival is least of anyone's interest.
However, Grant, in a tearful explanation, explained she felt her emergency C-section operation could have led to her demise and begged the nurse to protect her.
"I just remembered being petrified I remember there was one nurse, who, she let me hug her. And I said, 'all I'm asking is that you don't let me die on this table.'"
Throughout the video, Warren is seen interacting with groups of Black women and speaking about the Black maternal health crisis at a forum.
For many of the featured Black women, it appears that Warren is serious about reforming how the healthcare industry values them.
Watch the full video here: