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Home | Newsroom | Health Care | A Black Mother Told Not to Scream in Labor Asks: Can California Fix Racism in Maternity Care?

A Black Mother Told Not to Scream in Labor Asks: Can California Fix Racism in Maternity Care?

Bettye Jean Ford was in her second trimester when the pressure she had been feeling in her abdomen for weeks turned to excruciating pain. She rushed to a Los Angeles emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and sent home with antibiotics. Still cramping severely, the first-time expectant mother spent the next 24 hours trying to sleep.

The next morning, her obstetrician found her dilated and sent her to the hospital next door where an ultrasound confirmed she was in labor. Rather than being admitted, she was sent back to the clinic with paperwork to finish.

…Advocacy groups including Black Women for Wellness and The Western Center on Law and Poverty, an anti-poverty organization, sponsored the bill after noticing how racial discrimination persists in medicine regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

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