Speaker Nancy Pelosi struck back at the recent work of Republicans in states like Ohio, Kentucky, and Georgia, reminding them on Mother’s Day that women have the right to control their own bodies and save their own lives.
Women of color are three times as likely to die as a result of complications from pregnancy or childbirth than white women. #MomsDeserve a solution to save lives!
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 10, 2019
Laws that restrict a woman’s right to make medical decisions in consultation with their physicians risk women’s lives. Nowhere are women’s lives more at risk during pregnancy and childbirth than among women in black communities, and the disparities cannot be explained by wealth, healthcare access, or marital status.
‘Non-Hispanic black women experience maternal deaths at three to four times that of non- Hispanic white women. The risk of maternal mortality among black women persists after controlling for socioeconomic status.’
While maternal deaths rates around the world are improving significantly, the same cannot be said for the United States. Maternal deaths have increased and especially among black women, which can only be explained by institutional bias in prenatal and postnatal care.
‘Implicit bias may affect the way obstetrician–gynecologists counsel patients about treatment options such as contraception, vaginal birth after cesarean delivery, and the management of fibroids. For more information on implicit bias, see Vox Media’s video on the effect of slavery on the U.S. medical system and NPR’s article on the history of gynecology.’
As long as there remains any risk in pregnancy and delivery, the choice can only be made by the person whose life and body is at risk.
Twitter responded in full force to Pelosi’s Mother’s Day tweet. Read some of their comments below: