Summers: CDC finding not a surprise for many African American, minority women

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A recent survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found 1 in 5 American women report being mistreated while receiving maternal health care. This mistreatment includes verbal abuse and invasions of physical privacy. Thirty percent of African American, Hispanic and minority women report mistreatment, as well as 30% of women without insurance.

State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis) issued the following statement regarding the survey results:

“While these numbers are disheartening, I can’t say they’re surprising. We’ve long known that African American women and women of color face heightened risk of mistreatment and insufficient care in any realm of the medical world but are most at risk during pregnancy. In Indiana, Black women die during pregnancy, childbirth and one year postpartum at rates three times higher than white women. Due to unchecked implicit bias among health care professionals and disparities in care due to socioeconomic status, we as a state and as a nation are doing little to protect the women who are already the most vulnerable in health care settings.

“It is imperative that we take action to improve these statistics. Enhancing access to doula services to help give women an advocate, providing health care professionals with implicit bias training and empowering women to speak up for themselves when they know something isn’t right are just a few things that can be done to change these outcomes. I will continue to push for these changes here in Indiana, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get this done for Hoosier women.”

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