KANSAS CITY, MO. – A Kansas City Subway woman has teamed up with Kansas lawmakers to push for new laws to better track results for minority mothers and their children.
Sapphire Garcia-Lies, whose daughter Ella died in the womb and was stillborn, said concerns about her daughter’s lack of exercise towards the end of her pregnancy had been downplayed by medical professionals.
“If they had noticed in time, when she was still moving some, then she could probably have been saved,” said Garcia-Lies.
Two bills were recently introduced in the Kansas House and the Senate, thanks in part to former MP Melody McCray-Miller.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk about the death rate,” said McCray-Miller. “But that’s exactly it, it’s a death rate. And we’re just trying our best to cut it down and ultimately walk away. “
If passed HB 2108 The state would have to investigate all maternal deaths to determine whether racial prejudice or discrimination was involved. These data would be made available to the public and an outside committee made up of women of color would help review the results. SB 42 also calls for investigations into maternal death.
Garcia-Lies said she wondered if her breed caused her doctor to ignore her concerns. In the years since her daughter’s death, she has become a doula – a work support professional – advocating for women of color and their babies.
McCray-Miller and other supporters, including the Wichita Birth Justice Societyare optimistic that the bills will happen.