Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is doubling down on the case she made at the She the People Presidential Forum last month that doctors’ and nurses’ “prejudice” makes them treat black women differently than white women when it comes to maternal health treatment.
“We have failed our babies exactly in the way you talk about,” Warren said at the forum, then went on to say that those failures affect all black women regardless of their education or income.
“And the best studies that I’m seeing put it down to just one thing — prejudice,” Warren said. “That doctors and nurses don’t hear African-American women’s medical issues the same way that they hear the same things from white women.”
In an op-ed published earlier this week in Essence magazine, Warren doubled down on her claim, this time naming the “study” conducted by ProPublica, an “investigative journalism” organization funded by leftists, including George Soros.
Unfortunately, despite decades of progress, roughly 700 women continue to die each year from pregnancy or delivery complications in the United States, making it one of only thirteen countries where maternal mortality rates have worsened over the last 25 years. We are facing a maternal mortality crisis in America.
And for Black moms, particularly those living in rural areas, it’s an epidemic.
The data shows that black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. This trend persists even after adjusting for income and education. One major reason? Racism. In a detailed report, ProPublica found that the vast majority of maternal deaths are preventable, but decades of racism and discrimination mean that, too often, doctors and nurses don’t hear Black women’s health issues the same way they hear them from other women.
Warren than laid out her plan to help stop the alleged racism taking place in hospitals or other venues where black babies are born.
“Health systems [that] are able to coordinate their care and improve overall outcomes — like raising survival rates, reducing complications, and narrowing the mortality and morbidity gap between white women and women of color — they can earn a bonus.”
“If care doesn’t improve, they’ll be on the hook,” Warren wrote.
There would be challenges to putting her plan in place, Warren admitted, but no matter what the cure is, “black and brown moms” should be a part of the solution.
“In all of these decisions, women who have given birth, experienced complications, and lost babies — particularly women of color — and family members who have lost loved ones should not just be at the table: They should be calling the shots,” Warren wrote.
“We’ve done enough observing and debating the effects of bias and racism in our health care system,” Warren concluded. “It’s time to demand better outcomes.”
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter.