BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – In Louisiana, Black women are four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes. The ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. along with community partners addressed this issue by hosting the “Honor Her Life” event to remember the lives of Black women who lost their lives while giving birth.
The organization began with a short community walk, then they took to the Louisiana State Capitol to share their stories and discuss maternal truths. This event took place during Black Maternal Health Week. According to the March of Dimes, Louisiana ranks the highest in premature births with an average of 16.9%.
“And these numbers that I shared are not just numbers, they are people that we know they are lives and families that are forever touched, they will only get worse unless we continue to advocate and do things like this,” said Frankie Robertson.
Deirdre Stepter is the President of Sigma Gamma Rho. Stepter said this issue needed to be addressed. “We’re still talking about women dying in childbirth so as we see the numbers continue to rise for Black women where the numbers are going down for other women, we realize that this is a very serious concern,” said Stepter.
Organization leaders said now they’re working with legislators for reformation, and justice in the healthcare system.