Mother Teresa advocated reusing hypodermic needles for the poor in her care. Margaret Sanger promoted birth control as a way to keep ‘undesirable’ minorities from procreating. To understand history’s lionized women, we need more nuanced portraits. Read More
More to Think About: Black Infant Mortality
Read the entire article here. By Linda Villarosa
|Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from “The Hidden Toll,” the cover story in the NY Times Sunday magazine.|
|Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants — 11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data — a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were considered chattel. In one year, that racial gap adds up to more than 4,000 lost black babies. Education and income offer little protection. In fact, a black woman with an advanced degree is more likely to lose her baby than a white woman with less than an eighth-grade education.|
|This tragedy of black infant mortality is intimately intertwined with another tragedy: a crisis of death and near death in black mothers themselves. The United States is one of only 13 countries in the world where the rate of maternal mortality — the death of a woman related to pregnancy or childbirth up to a year after the end of pregnancy — is now worse than it was 25 years ago. Each year, an estimated 700 to 900 maternal deaths occur in the United States.|
|In addition, the C.D.C. reports more than 50,000 potentially preventable near-deaths, like Landrum’s, per year — a number that rose nearly 200 percent from 1993 to 2014, the last year for which statistics are available. Black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts, according to the C.D.C. — a disproportionate rate that is higher than that of Mexico, where nearly half the population lives in poverty — and as with infants, the high numbers for black women drive the national numbers.|
The crisis of maternal death and near-death also persists for black women across class lines. This year, the tennis star Serena Williams shared in Vogue the story of the birth of her first child and in further detail in a Facebook post. The day after delivering her daughter, Alexis Olympia, via C-section in September, Williams experienced a pulmonary embolism, the sudden blockage of an artery in the lung by a blood clot.
Alexa Canady Surgeon, Educator (1950–)
In 1981, Alexa Canady became the first female African-American neurosurgeon in the United States. Dr. Alexa Canady was born on November 7, 1950, in Lansing, Michigan. While she was in college, a summer program inspired her to pursue a medical career. In 1981, she became the first female African-American neurosurgeon in the United States. Canady specialized as a pediatric neurosurgeon and served as chief of neurosurgery at the Children’s Hospital in Michigan from 1987 to 2001.
Marie M. Daly Chemist, Scientist, Scientist(1921–2003)
Marie M. Daly is best known for being the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States. Marie M. Daly was born on April 16, 1921, in Queens, New York. She was raised in an education-oriented family, and Daly quickly received her B.S. and M.S. in chemistry at Queens College and New York University. After completing her Ph.D. at Columbia—and becoming the first African-American woman to obtain a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States—Daly taught and conducted research. She died in New York City on October 28, 2003. Read more here.
by Aleks Kajstura
With 219,000 women locked up in facilities operated by thousands of agencies, getting the big picture is anything but easy. In our new report, Women’s Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017, we use our “whole pie” approach to give the public and policymakers the foundation to end mass incarceration without leaving women behind.
Our new report details, for the first time, the number of women who are locked up by various correctional systems and why. Women’s Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie 2017, released jointly by the Prison Policy Initiative and the ACLUs Campaign for Smart Justice, is a first look at where women fall within our decentralized and overlapping systems of mass incarceration.
FCC Missions Ministry, in partnership with Community Partners in Action, is supporting our Back Pack program for the 3rd straight year. The program provides backpacks of toiletries for women being released from prison. Often leaving York Correctional Institution with little or nothing, these women have few resources and many needs. The Missions Ministry is asking for contributions of toiletries (or money, of course) to fill 40 backpacks for 40 women. Suggested items include:
- lotion, petroleum jelly
- shampoo, moisturizer
- sanitary supplies
- hairbrush, comb, picks
- toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss
- soap, shower gel
- makeup: eye liner, mascara, lip gloss
- nail clippers, emery boards
- small mirror
- small packs facial tissue
- bath towel, wash cloth
- white sweat socks
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) was scolded by a Republican committee chairman Wednesday as she grilled law enforcement and intelligence officials on the Russia probe.
The California Democrat sought assurances from deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein that he would allow special counsel Robert Mueller to fully and independently investigate possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.
“You indicated in your statement that you chose a person who exercises a ‘degree’ of independence — not full independence — from the normal chain of command,” Harris said.
Then Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) broke in and asked the committee chairman to direct Harris to let Rosenstein speak.
“Are you willing or are you not willing to give him the authority to be fully independent of your ability, statutorily and legally, to fire him?” Harris said. “Yes or no, sir?”
Rosenstein said regulations gave Mueller full independence, and Harris again asked if he could give his assurance in writing, as his predecessors had — and the committee chairman interrupted her.
“Would the senator suspend?” said Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “The chair is going to exercise its right to allow the witnesses to answer the question, and the committee is on notice to provide the witnesses the courtesy, which has not been extended all of the way across, the courtesy for questions to get answered.”
Harris pointed out that Rosenstein had joked about his ability to filibuster, and the deputy attorney general interjected to say he had not been joking.
Rosenstein then gave a lengthy answer, as Harris’s time for questions ran out, without offering explicit testimony that he would offer written assurance of Mueller’s independence.
“So is that a no?” Harris said, as the chairman called on the next senator for questioning.
Photo: Sen. Kamala Harris (MSNBC)