Recently, the Women’s Policy Institute Los Angeles County Health Justice Team advocated for and won increased funding for high-quality doula services for those who need it most. This will give emotional, physical, and educational supportive doula services to low and middle income pregnant women of color in LA.
“We can’t save babies without saving the ones who are having them. We’re very happy that the County is raising this issue,” said Adjoa Jones, a member of WPI- Los Angeles County Health Justice Team.
This week, CDC just released its first study in 10 years revealing, despite our booming economy, mothers in the United States are dying. While federal legislation has yet to address this crisis, these activists are taking action in their cities and governments and winning.
Advocates Diamond Lee, Adjoa Jones, Raena Granberry and Stella Clingmon Simon believe this is the first step to address the chronic stress and institutionalized racism leading to the high mortality rates among black women and babies. Currently in Los Angeles county, the infant mortality rate for Black babies is more than two to three times that of other races. And nationwide, Black mothers are more than two times more likely to die from pregnancy related issues than white mothers.
With their training through the Women’s Policy Institute, this committed group of local advocates from L.A. are pushing to make their vision a reality. They are advancing “a world where Black women are treated with humanity, have safe and sacred births, and are fully supported by an informed and empowered community.”
For each mother to have a safeguard against implicit and explicit bias isn’t just the right thing to do, it saves lives. Research has shown doulas’ culturally-sensitive care increases the likelihood of a healthy birth and even lower costs.
As healthcare takes center stage whether in the State of the Union or on the debate stage, one critical healthcare issue continues to be neglected: the growing rate of maternal mortality.
Many countries use the state of mothers and children as the litmus test for the health of its population. Currently, the U.S. is ranked 55th in the world in maternal mortality just ahead of Russia and just behind Ukraine. However these reports fail to highlight the racial inequity within these statistics.
We need more women, especially women of color and gender nonconforming people, writing our laws both in the state capital and city hall. If you want to support or apply to the Women’s Policy Institute, join us! We are one of the only training programs in California that gives women and gender conforming advocates and activists the tools to write meaningful legislation. Together, we can change the halls of power and our communities. Congratulations to the WPI-Local Los Angeles County Health Justice Team, let’s bring comprehensive doula services to every city in California.
Want to show your support? Join us at the Doula Town Hall Meeting, Saturday February 22, 2020 from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at the FAME Renaissance Center in Los Angeles. RSVP Today!
And to read more information about the full motion passed by our WPI-Local L.A. County Team and Supervisors Hilda L. Solis and Mark Ridley Thomas, click here.