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Statement from the ACNM Board of Directors Condemning the Charlottesville Attacks

ACNM condemns racism in all of its forms and denounces the white supremacist and Nazi rally that led to violence against human rights protesters in Charlottesville, VA. on Saturday, August 12.

The mission of the American College of Nurse-Midwives is to support midwives and advance the practice of midwifery to achieve optimal health for women through their lifespan. ACNM advocates on behalf of women and families, our members, and the midwifery profession to eliminate health disparities.

What do the events in Charlottesville have to do with women’s health?
The attacks in Charlottesville are a savage reminder that violence against people for the color of their skin, their religion, and their gender and sexuality is a real threat and must be addressed. As midwives, we partner with individuals to achieve their optimum possible state of health. However, women and mothers of color face challenges that are compounded by a system of racism and white supremacy, which creates an environment of fear and terror in their daily lives. Racism dictates whether families of color live in a safe or violent neighborhood, have access to employment so they can support their families, whether their children have access to quality education, and whether they have access to quality health care to address the range of their health care needs. This constant fear and terror creates a cascade of unhealthy biological responses that result in poor health for women of color before they even become pregnant.
Midwives practice evidence-based health care. There is compelling evidence that chronic stressors create an inflammatory process that affects multi-system organs. In children of color, this inflammatory process begins early in life and continues as they grow and develop into adulthood and begin to consider parenthood. Once women of color become pregnant, this progressive assault on their health results in the disparate maternal and infant morbidity and mortality that the medical community has come to expect for women of color. Women of color die at a rate in pregnancy, childbirth, and post-partum four times that of Caucasian women. Education and income do not protect women of color. There is documented evidence that the maternal and infant outcomes for educated, high income women of color are poorer than outcomes for Caucasian women with a high school education.
ACNM stands in solidarity with the work of the reproductive justice movement in achieving social, political, and economic justice for all people. Only then can the goal of eliminating health disparities be achieved.
Thank you,
Members of the ACNM Board of Directors
Posted By Massachusetts Editor | 8/15/2017 6:46:57 PM

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