Health Policy & Management, School of Public Health
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
IAS Faculty Fellow, Fall 2020
Double Jeopardy: An exploration of the relationship between anti-abortion policy and maternal mortality for Black Birthing People in the US
“Momma!” George Floyd called out, face pressed against the pavement with the knee of a Minneapolis police officer in his neck. “Momma . . . I’m through!” Mr. Floyd yelled. George Floyd’s cry for his “Momma” resonates deeply with all of us—we all know what it feels like to need our mom in times of fear and distress. Yet, there is something else haunting and painful in Mr. Floyd’s words—a cry for help so profound it summoned all Black mothers in America, shaking us to our core, evoking images of our beloved Black sons and Black daughters stolen from us too soon.
The Reproductive Justice (RJ) principles state that maintaining personal bodily autonomy, having children, not having children, and the ability to parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities are human rights that must be protected and ensured. Exploring police violence through an RJ lens gives voice to Black mothers who advocate for choice, self-determination, and dignity as related to the autonomy of their families. It speaks to a mother’s hope to keep her child out of harm’s way and it holds sacred what all mothers want for their children—their safety and happiness. My work seeks to explore the over-policing of Black female bodies at the intersections of: police violence, in health care delivery resulting in maternal mortality and morbidity and in abortion access and the restrictive policies sweeping the country on reproductive health outcomes for Black mothers.
This series features an IAS Residential Fellow—a Faculty Fellow, Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow, or Community of Scholars Fellow. Each profile is written by the participant as a way to share their projects, goals, and experiences as part of their time at the IAS.