Comments on Maternal and Child Health in Upstate New York
The New York Civil Liberties Union, along with several other adocacy and defense organizations, submitted collective testimony to the New York State Senate Committee on Women’s Issues to call for the need to improve maternal and child health outcomes and better the lives of families and communities across New York State. Our comments raise the critical connection between discriminatory drug testing in health care settings, involvement by the family regulation system that results in harmful family separation, and the deleterious consequences for maternal and infant health and well-being. Improving maternal health outcomes requires eliminating structural discrimination and medical racism. We need courage and holistic approaches to undo and heal the stigma and violence perpetuated by this country’s history of racism, classism, patriarchy and ableism. This is a necessary piece of any robust dialogue around maternal health, and we urge the New York State Senate Committee on Women’s Issues to explore bold and creative solutions that ensure care at birth is non-discriminatory, culturally responsive, respectful, supportive, and patient-informed.