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Friday, November 30, 2018

Meet the Black Father Pushing Congress to Save More Black Moms Who Die While Giving Birth

Charles Johnson IV sitting before Congress

Charles Johnson IV’s wife died while giving birth, and now he’s pushing Congress to make some changes

Los Angeles, CA — Charles Johnson IV, the husband of Kira Johnson, a Black mother who died of childbirth complications in a hospital, has since been advocating for pregnant Black women. In his latest efforts, he is pushing for Congress to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act to save more Black mothers from dying due to pregnancy-related causes.

Charles announced on Thursday through Instagram that the final deadline for the Congress to pass the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act is next week. He is also asking for people to let their senators and congressional representatives know that they are “respectfully demanding” them to support the act.

Charles lost his wife, Kira, in 2016 after she gave birth to their second son in a hospital where she was left bleeding for over 7 hours. He said he pleaded for a CT scan and other tests but the staff and doctors had them waiting for hours because they were apparently not their priority.

Charles and his two sons filed a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit against the Cedars-Sinai Hospital and the involved doctors for allegedly ignoring Kira’s medical needs and negligently inflicting emotional distress. According to the lawsuit, Kira died of “hemorrhagic shock due to acute hemoperitoneum” which they claim that could have been prevented if the doctors acted immediately and properly.

Since then, he and his mother, reality court TV show Judge Glenda Hatchett, has advocated for Black women who were three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Moreover, Charles has established 4Kira4Moms, a nonprofit committed to honor Kira’s life and to prevent other families from experiencing unnecessary birth-related deaths.

They recently participated in a congressional briefing on maternal mortality. They are calling on Congress to pass H.R. 1318 or the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that will support states in their efforts to save and sustain the health of mothers during pregnancy, childbirth, and in the postpartum period.

The act also aims to eliminate disparities in maternal health outcomes for pregnancy-related and pregnancy-associated deaths and identify solutions to improve health care quality and health outcomes for mothers, especially Black moms.

They are asking for more people to sign the petition to support the passing of the act in the Congress.