‘Black people should have their babies where they live’

‘Black people should have their babies where they live’

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“I should have said something,” said Telika Howard. “Why didn’t I say anything?” Howard gave birth seven times in seven hospitals, and seven times she was traumatized. She felt the medical professionals did not understand her needs or give her the best possible care.

In 2001, at the age of 21, Howard gave birth to her second child at Regional One Health Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee. She said a nurse came in and administered a shot without her permission. When Howard asked what it was, she said the nurse replied, “It’s a birth control shot because you don’t need to be having any more children.”

In 2004, she gave birth in Chicago, where she lives now, at a hospital that is now closed. She said she felt like she was put on display, as several medical students observed her without her consent. 

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