The Joint Parliamentary Committee On Human Rights reported:
“The death rate for Black women in childbirth is five times higher than for white women. The NHS acknowledge and regret this disparity but have no target to end it. The Government must introduce a target to end the disparity in maternal mortality between Black women and white women.” House of Commons
After going into labour with agonising contractions in March 2016, Sandra Igwe attended hospital and was sent home five times before finally being admitted. Previously, she had felt judged and experienced alleged racism during a pregnancy appointment, which led to a letter of apology from the hospital.
But she says she was shocked that during childbirth and while feeling at her most vulnerable she would again face such treatment. “They would not believe I was in active labour,” she explained. “The midwife said my cries of pain did not coincide with my contractions and they withheld an epidural for hours on end.
“The midwife was trying to gaslight me, it was horrific. They kept asking ‘why are you screaming?’ and said I was being ‘rude’.” Guardian
The British Medical Journal argued that institutional racism is a factor. It quoted Dr Christine Ekechi, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at Imperial College London: “People think of racism in an overt, aggressive way. But that’s not always what it is. It’s about biased assumptions—and we doctors have the same biases as anyone else,” BMJ
There are 220 female MPs., 104 of them Labour members. If the rate of maternal deaths amongst Labour members was four times higher than that for Tory and other party maternal deaths, we can be quite sure that the Shadow Minister for Health, Jonathan Ashworth, would not be silent on the matter.