SDUSA Endorses KS State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau’s Bill Mandating Racial Tracking of Maternal Mortality Rates in Kansas

Social Democrats USA knows that we cannot move forward into full democratic brotherhood without repairing the harm caused by past and present racism. One wound we must address is a disparity in our healthcare system in which a Black mother is nearly three times more likely to die of pregnancy or childbirth-related complications than a white or Hispanic mother.

In Kansas, some encouraging news is that UHC Kansas Medicaid is partnering with doulas to help right this injustice by providing free doula care for Black expectant mothers in Kansas City, Kansas. Please see our April, 2023 interview with doula Jaima Saunders, founder of Mommy Diaries: a Doula Co., LLC to understand how having a healthcare provider who “mothers the mother” can lead to healthier outcomes for mother and baby.

On a concerning note, Republicans in the Kansas Senate keep opposing a bill, which Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau keeps tirelessly reintroducing, mandating racial tracking of maternal mortality rates in Kansas. For reparative initiatives like free doula care for Black mothers to continue being approved and expanded throughout the state, racial statistics are an essential part of documenting the health injustices so disproportionately suffocating our Black neighbors. 

Senator Faust-Goudeau will be working to pass this legislation again in her new Senate session starting in January of 2024, and SDUSA joins forces with the the Senator and her determined partner Kansas Birth Equity Network, founded and directed by Dr. Sharla Smith, in spreading awareness so that lawmakers are aware that the whole world is watching as they vote on whether to get clear data on the state of Black birth equity in Kansas. Please join us one and all in pushing for this long-overdue stride towards equality!

–Passed unanimously by the National Executive Committee on October 10.

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