Massachusetts senator and presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has announced a bold new plan to drive down the United States’s shockingly high maternal mortality rates — especially in regard to African-American women.
Speaking at the She the People conference in Houston, Texas, on Monday, Warren said that it was unfortunately not a coincidence that African-American women were three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.
“Doctors and nurses don’t hear African-American women’s medical issues the same way that they hear the same things from white women. We gotta change that and we gotta change it fast because people’s lives are at stake.”
“Even after we do the adjustments for income, for education, this [problem] is true across the board,” added Warren. “This is true for well-educated African-American women, for wealthy African-American women, and the best studies that I’ve seen put it down to just one thing: prejudice.”
Rather than waiting for societal attitudes to evolve, Warren said, it was time to force hospitals to go above and beyond to ensure that women in general, and black women especially, no longer die unnecessarily during childbirth. To that end, she outlined a plan that would offer hospitals financial bonuses for reducing their maternal mortality rates for black women — and financially penalize them if they failed to do so.
“I want to see the hospitals see it as their responsibility to address this problem head-on and make it a first priority,” Warren declared. “The best way to do that is to use money to make it happen, because we gotta have change and we gotta have change now.”
Read the full story at CNN.