Birth is transformative. Birth is amazing. Birth is tremendous. Birth can be traumatic, deadly, or damaging to the lifelong health of parent or baby. The United States has the worst maternal death rate of any country in the developed world, and Black birthing people are 3 to 5 times more likely to die during childbirth. What makes the outlook so much more dire for Black birthers in America? The racism embedded into policies, the biases of practitioners and care providers, and inaccessibility of quality health care.
The National Birth Equity Collective “creates solutions that optimize Black maternal and infant health through training, policy advocacy, research, and community-centered collaboration.” They recently published their organization’s agenda in June 2020:
- They will influence change in the highest levels of government by establishing an Office of Reproductive Well-Being at the White House dedicated to the promotion of reproductive rights with a human rights and racial equity lens.
- NBEC will work to pass laws that prioritize healthcare as a human right, and require the government to ensure affordable, quality healthcare to all.
- They will ensure that individuals and institutions are held accountable for discrimination by prohibiting laws, policies, and practices that cause preventable inequalities in health outcomes and establish standards for assessing discrimination.
- NBEC will require and support reporting and investigation of all maternal deaths, as states are already doing so for infant deaths.
- Finally, work toward fair reproductive health care by removing restrictions and limit the government’s ability to make decisions for individual’s reproductive care.
The racism in this country is deeply embedded in the system. This must end. The racism bleeds into homophobia and sexism, and takes away human health rights, putting birthing parents at risk in the most vulnerable moments of their lives.
I support the mission and agenda of the National Birth Equity Collective. To pledge my support, I will be donating 25% of my income for the rest of 2020 to NBEC to help carry out this important work.
Sunday, January 24, 2021 update: A donation has been made! Thank you for your support in this important cause. If you are interested in continuing support, please reach out and let me know!