Pregnancy is supposed to be a beautiful time of celebrating the creation of new life and family. There is nothing quite like holding your baby in your arms and getting to finally bring them home. Unfortunately, this experience is denied to many mothers around the U.S.

On July 2nd, a black 26-year-old named Sha-Asia Washington went to a hospital in Brooklyn for a routine appointment. Because she was a few days past her due date, doctors admitted to the hospital so that they could watch her blood pressure. On July 7th, doctors gave Washington pitocin to induce labor and even though Sha-Asia was hesitant, doctors gave her an epidural. Then, her boyfriend, Juwan Lopez, who was Facetiming his mother saw them racing her to an operating room for an emergency C-section. Khloe, Lopez’s and Washington’s baby, was born healthy, but Washington died. Her heart stopped during surgery and after CPR, they pronounced her dead. Washington’s best friend said that the Washington family conducted an independent autopsy, which pointed to the cause of death as the epidural.

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Sha-Asia Washington never got the chance to meet her baby. Juwan Lopez is now raising his daughter alone while grieving his girlfriend. This story is heartbreaking and unfortunately, is not a rare occurrence. Black women are three to four times more likely than white women to die during childbirth. Black women are routinely undertreated, disbelieved, and misinformed by doctors and other medical practitioners.

In response to this awful reality, Senator Kamala Harris introduced legislation called the Maternal Care Access and Reducing Emergencies (Maternal CARE) Act. It would devote funds to fightin bias in the medical field as well as identifying high-risk pregnancies and providing appropriate care and support. Sign this petition to urge Congress to pass this bill without delay!

To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:

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