Birth Justice and Maternal Health in Africa and the Diaspora

Pregnant women of African descent in the U.S., Caribbean and Africa are caught between malign neglect and coercion; routinely denied access to affordable and culturally competent prenatal care, and simultaneously subjected to state coercion and unwanted medical interventions. As a result, Black women globally are more likely to die of pregnancy related causes than white women, and our infants also face high preventable mortality rates. In the West, Black pregnant people and mamas also face numerous systemic barriers to our autonomy, including forced separations by the prison, immigration and foster/adoption systems. Across the globe, traditional Birthworkers and birth justice advocates are working to liberate birth, heal trauma and save lives. This panel will share highlights of their activism and explore the possibility of building a Pan-African birth justice movement.

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