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South Side OB/GYN Unit Closing Amid Black Maternal Health Crisis

jackson park hospital

(FILE) Nakida Maxson holds her newborn daughter at home in Chicago in 2004.

M. Spencer Green

Jackson Park Hospital and Medical Center announced it will close its obstetrics unit in August, leaving many African American women in the area with few options for prenatal care.

The news came as a shock to the all-female, all-black staff of nurses and doctors that run the unit and the community at large, and it comes in a time of need.

Black women in the United States are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, and the situation in Illinois is even worse than the national average.

The U.S. is also the only developed nation in the world where the overall maternal mortality rate is on the rise.

Morning Shift talks with a nurse and an organizer about the black maternal health crisis and what this move at Jackson Park will mean for women and their families.

GUESTS: Sheilah Garland, political organizer with National Nurses United

Gwendolyn Woolridge, OB/GYN nurse at Jackson Park Hospital

LEARN MORE: Obstetrics Unit Closing At South Side Hospital (Chicago Sun-Times 6/21/19)

As Black Women Face Maternal Health Crisis, Jackson Park Plans To Shut Down OB/GYN Unit — And Nurses Are Fighting Back (Block Club Chicago 6/24/19)

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