Brooklyn Law School to host ‘A Call To Action On Maternal Health Disparities’ roundtable

November 21, 2023 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
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Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, the chair of the Kings County Democratic Party and New York State Assemblymember, is set to host a roundtable discussion titled “A Call to Action on Maternal Health Disparities” at Brooklyn Law School. 

The event, scheduled for Friday, December 1 at 9 a.m., aims to address the critical issues surrounding maternal health care in New York State.

As a current student of Brooklyn Law School, Bichotte Hermelyn will co-host this event with Karen Porter, executive director of the Center for Health, Science and Public Policy at the school. 

The roundtable promises to be an exclusive gathering of leaders deeply invested in confronting the maternal health care crisis in New York, focusing on practical strategies for significant improvement.

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The urgency of this event is underscored by a September 2022 report revealing alarming disparities in maternal health within New York. The report highlighted a staggering difference in pregnancy-related mortality rates among Black and white women, with Black women facing a rate five times higher. Furthermore, a significant number of these deaths were preventable and linked to systemic issues, including discrimination.

Bichotte Hermelyn has been a vocal advocate for maternal health, spurred by personal tragedy and legislative action. Her commitment was intensified following the loss of her prematurely born son six years ago. 

Her efforts have led to the passing of laws aimed at improving maternal health care, including the requirement for hospitals to admit anyone in preterm labor, regardless of their insurance status.

One of her notable legislative contributions is “Mickie’s Law,” designed to ensure that mothers experiencing fetal death receive necessary treatment, particularly in emergency situations. This law addresses the gap in healthcare services due to various factors, including institutional policies and systemic racism.

Mayor Eric Adams recently signed a series of laws aimed at improving maternal health in New York City, marking a notable advancement in this area. Bichotte Hermelyn praised these measures, highlighting their focus on educating and enhancing maternal health care. 

These reforms are particularly vital for Black women, she explained, who disproportionately bear the brunt of higher health care and pregnancy-related costs.

The assemblymember also emphasized her ongoing legislative efforts in maternal health care, highlighting the need for comprehensive and preventive solutions.

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