Black women in Los Angeles County are three times more likely to die of complications during pregnancy than other women. Their babies also have higher health risks. Doulas are increasingly considered part of the solution toward healthier births -- but the contract for one promising program has been terminated.
The insurance provider Health Net contracted earlier this year with the Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health to pay for doula services for 150 black women who use Medi-Cal in L.A. County. But Health Net has now cut ties to the association amid allegation that it was plagued by infighting and other internal problems. Three doulas were fired and one resigned after some employees complained that the association's leadership was racially insensitive.
The association's director called the allegations "false or exaggerated."