Protests Planned Around New York City For Shaaisa Washington, 26-Year-Old Woman Who Died During Childbirth

July 9, 2020  |  

Midsection of pregnant Black woman holding belly

Source: LWA/Dann Tardif / Getty

A 26 year-old woman named Shaasia Washington died on July 3 during childbirth at Woodhull Hospital which borders the neighborhoods of Bushwick and Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, New York.

In New York, local activists have scheduled a series of protest in her honor across the city, according to Bushwick Daily.

Washington’s case is being brought to attention by her partner, Juwan Lopez, whose family began a GoFundMe campaign in her honor. To date the campaign has raised over $60,000 for the family, exceeding the initial $20,000 goal.

Lopez’s life forever changed as he welcomed the birth of their daughter Khloe, but is now compacted with insurmountable grief over the loss of his girlfriend.

“Shaasia was a beautiful soul. She passed away giving birth to her beautiful baby girl Khloe. She just started her family. Just got her own apartment to be on her own,” Jasmin Lopez, Juwan’s sister, wrote in the description for the GoFundMe. “If you know Shaasia she wanted to be a mom and she was gonna be an amazing one. She left behind so many hurt people with this sudden tragic lost. No one was expecting this.”

According to the brief statement on the fundraising page, Washington died after she was administered an epidural, but what led to her death still remains unknown. In an interview with The Shade Room Lopez said the couple visited the hospital two days prior to her delivery over high blood pressure. Reports have circulated that she was not afforded medication to address the blood pressure. After she went into labor, tensions escalated after she was rushed into an emergency C-section. Staff reportedly tried to revive her for an hour.

“They tried to revive her like 15 times,” Lopez said.

“NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull remains committed to the health and welfare of our patients, a hospital spokesperson said in a statement obtained by The Shade Room. “We are saddened by this death and our condolences go out to the family of the deceased. Patient privacy and confidentiality laws prohibit us from providing any further information related to this incident.”

Washington is the second woman in New York City to gain national attention on this subject, just months after the tragic death of Amber Issac, who died in April after an emergency C-section at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx. Black women around the globe suffer disproportionately from the ongoing maternal mortality crisis. Black women in the United States are three to four times more likely to die in childbirth, pregnancy, or during the postpartum period. And the numbers stay consistent across education and salary measures for Black women.

Celebrities like Porsha Williams and Amy Schumer are using their platforms to shed light on Washington’s death as the need to address the rates among Black women continues to go unaddressed.

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