Jasmine Banks 0

Demand ICAN and TBN Trust BLACK Women

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Yesterday during a session at the Texas Birth Network “Birth Roundup” registered nurse Tasha Portley asked Ina May Gaskin about the impact of racism on the births of Black women. https://www.facebook.com/tasha.portley/posts/1448318131887173?pnref=story.

Gaskin responded with anecdotal stories about Black women who lost their lives as a result of provider negligence, and blamed the Black women for not being more informed of their life-threatening symptoms. Moreover, Gaskin stated that “drug overdose” and the use of illegal drugs was the cause of the massive amount of Black maternal death rates. She also mentioned that communities “don’t pray as much as we used to” as a reason contributing to maternal death rates.


Black women die at a higher rate than any other group of women from preventable birth complications. Black women continue to be refused quality and safe care due to educators and leaders like Ina May Gaskin. Ina May Gaskin represent the ways in which white supremacy and anti-Black racism continues to harm the safety and wellbeing of Black women who are in need of quality maternal healthcare.

The white supremacist and anti-Black narrative perpetuated by Ina May Gaskin and those who ascribe to her teachings are the very narratives that LITERALLY cost Black women their safety and lives.



  1. Immediately acknowledge how harmful Ina May Gaskin is to the birth community. Publicly denounce Ina May Gaskin and those who support her racist ideology.
  2. Refuse to attend/participate in events that feature Ina May Gaskin. Gaskin is being paid to teach a narrative that is violent to Black women and people of color.
  3. Apply pressure to organizations who continue to support Ina May Gaskin and those who support her racist ideology.
  4. Publicly commit to funding the work of Black women in the birth community.
  5. Create a plan of accountability that includes anti-racist training for your chapters.


  1. Establish a scholarship fund to increase the presence of Black midwives and Doulas within the network.
  2. Form accountability group of women of color to oversee ICAN board process.
  3. Create process for anti-racist training with community accountability.

Texas Birth Network

  1. Present a clear plan for addressing and improving health outcomes for socio-economically disadvantaged people of color.
  2. Present a plan for anti-racist training
  3. Create a fund for Black doulas.

We DEMAND that ICAN, TBN, and the birth community TRUST BLACK WOMEN and build better births for ALL of us.

-Tasha Portley, R.N, M.S.N, C.C.M, C.P.ST

-Erricka Bailey, CD

-Jasmine Banks, L.A.C

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