Speaking last week in Parliament, Bath’s MP, Wera Hobhouse called out the ‘horrifying’ disparity between health outcomes for Black and Asian mothers in the UK. Currently, Black women are five times more likely to die in childbirth.
Wera Hobhouse read from emails she received from Black women in Bath about their experiences giving birth including the experiences of women who felt they were “not properly informed about the options”, whose “concerns were not taken seriously”, and one who felt they “could not say no when she felt uncomfortable”.
She urged Government to not only acknowledge the disparity in health outcomes for minority women but to be proactive to reduce them, saying “we need more and properly funded investigations into maternal death, with recommendations that are actioned.”
Following the debate Wera Hobhouse said:
“It is horrific that in the year 2021 being Black still makes you five times more likely to die in childbirth in this country. The reasons why are complicated, but we owe it to minority women, in communities across this country, to do better.
Hearing accounts from women across Bath, who have had their lives put at risk and their concerns not listened to whilst giving birth has been heart-breaking. I am committed to lobbying Government on their behalf.
Far from getting better, maternal health inequalities have gotten worse in the last few years. We already know that the pandemic has impacted minority communities to a far greater extent. Now is the time to set realistic targets and do everything in our power to reduce Black maternal mortality.”
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