CHOICE/LESS – Delivering Hope: The Story of Two Black Midwives in Southern California

Jenn Stanley

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For the next two episodes, CHOICE/LESS host Jenn Stanley teams up with Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors to discuss birth justice, particularly as it relates to people of color and LGBTQ people.

Jenn Stanley: Patrisse, can you tell our listeners how you are involved in birth justice work?

Patrisse Cullors: I’m a senior fellow at MomsRising, and MomsRising is a 1 million-member organization for mothers, families, and parents across the board. We consider ourselves a feminist organization and we have been on the front line of fighting for folks’ health care and reproductive rights. As a senior fellow in the organization, my role is working on cases of maternal mortality and morbidity, and looking at the ways in which Black women in particular have the highest rates of maternal mortality and morbidity in this country.

Jenn Stanley: How do you know today’s storytellers, and why did you want to interview them?

Patrisse Cullors: Racha Tahani Lawler and Debbie Allen were actually my midwives here in Los Angeles, and given this current movement moment around Black Lives Mattering I think it’s important that we lift up the work of Black women, and we lift up the work of Black women who are helping to bring Black children and other children into the world at a time when it’s just sort of doomsday and we just keep seeing an onslaught of terror from this administration. I feel like it’s important to see glimpses of hope and these two midwives give me hope.

Listen to the episode to hear Racha and Debbie discuss racism in health care and midwifery, and what it means to provide maternity care and support to communities who need it the most.

Transcript (PDF)