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Serena Williams and Elaine Welteroth team up for the Black Maternal Health Fund

Photo: Getty Images

Elaine Welteroth And Serena Williams have worked together to help combat the Black maternal health crisis in the US

In honor of Black Maternal Health Week, Welteroth announced the launch of its “maternity care revolution” BirthFUND on April 11. Weltroth enlisted the help of Williams and other celebrities to reduce the death rate among black mothers and help them provide obstetric services.

“We’re done waiting for someone else to fix what’s broken. It’s up to us to save ourselves. One family at a time,” Welteroth wrote on Instagram.

Welteroth and Williams also wrote an essay for it Time magazine about why “we in the United States should not be willing to die to give birth.” In the piece, the couple described their birth experiences, highlighting that black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

“Having babies in America was a wake-up call for both of us. Like many parents, and first-time parents at that, we never expected the harrowing experiences we would face on the road to motherhood,” they wrote. “We have both achieved a lot in our lives and in our careers – from Grand Slams to history-making career appointments – needless to say, we can do hard things.”

“But nothing made us feel as powerless as being pregnant and black in America, where we had to rely on a medical system that statistically fails people who look like us,” the couple continued.

“The CDC reports that Black women are three times more likely to die during and after childbirth than white women,” she added. “The birth shouldn’t have made us afraid for our lives, but it did for both of us. And the overall picture is not good for any of us. Many people still view the maternal health crisis as a distant problem. It’s not. Nearly half of mothers in this country describe their birth as traumatic.”

“Founding Family Funders” including Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, Savannah James, Ayesha Curry, Kelly Rowland, Johannes Legend And Chrissy TeigenAnd Karlie Kloss support the BirthFUND by raising money for obstetric care for families in need.

“Our goal with BirthFUND is to remove financial barriers to quality care and expand both education and choice. Regardless of where or how they decide to give birth, parents deserve access to safe, dignified care,” they wrote. “Right now, that human right is out of reach for far too many people. It takes too long to fix what’s broken. We are ready to tackle this problem head on. We hope families – and businesses – from across the country will join us.”

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