Protect Black Wombs
One of the greatest acts of love is to bring new life into this world. The sacredness of the birthing should be something that our societies treat with utmost care and respect. Yet, here is a crisis in America’s birthing health care system that is killing and endangering Black womb carriers.
At Sundance Film Festival 2022, I watched the powerful documentary film AFTERSHOCK, by Paula Eiselt & Tonya Lewis Lee. The film addresses the disturbing rate at which Black women are dying during or after childbirth – about 4 times the rate of white women in America. Pregnant woman of all races are being driven to rush their natural birthing process and have c-sections, all because of the ability for hospitals to profit. Since the 1970’s, C-sections have gone up over 500%! This practice, combined with the racist medical system, puts Black pregnant womb carriers at tremendous risk.
While I knew about this injustice, I was deeply saddened to hear the personal stories of the family members of Shamony Gibson and Amber Rose Isaac, both young, healthy Black women who died after giving birth. To hear from Shamony’s mother, Shawnee Benton Gibson was deeply moving for me, and I felt compelled to create this piece of art and donate some of the proceeds to this work.
The film inspired me to do create this screenprint around birthing justice. The way we are brought into earthside shapes our lives forever. Everyone deserves care, dignity and support in their birthing process.