Statement on Erin Maye Quade’s Nominating Convention

Our system’s indifference and inability to accommodate a Black woman’s acute health needs reflects a broken system.

April 27, 2022

Gabbi Pierce, Communications Manager
[email protected]

Statement on Erin Maye Quade’s Nominating Convention
Saint Paul, Minn.—

Gender Justice watched with concern as our colleague and friend Erin Maye Quade fought through active labor during a senate convention speech over the weekend. Her courage, strength, and grace in the moment was remarkable. She ultimately decided to leave the convention to give birth, and the convention proceeded without her. Our system’s indifference and inability to accommodate a Black woman’s acute health needs reflects a broken system. The blatant disregard for Erin’s health is evidence of how many barriers are in place for women, especially for women of color, to participate in our political systems.

We need to do better.

Just last week we celebrated Black Maternal Health Week and the work of the Minnesota Legislature’s Black Maternal Health Caucus. The disparities in healthcare for black parents are tremendous. Racial disparities in maternal healthcare persist in Minnesota, where Black people are more than twice as likely as white people to die from a pregnancy-related illness. From anti-racism training to increasing availability of doula care, Gender Justice and our partners are advocating across the full-spectrum of sexual, maternal, and reproductive health care.

Our work, together with the Unrestrict Minnesota coalition, strives to make reproductive justice a reality. This organizing framework, created by Black women, envisions a world where every person has the ability to decide if, when, and how to become a parent; raise healthy children in safe and thriving communities; and live with gender and bodily autonomy.

Racial disparities persist after pregnancy and childbirth. We also need equitable and accessible Paid Family Medical Leave for all parents. Last year in Minnesota, white mothers had a median length of leave that was nearly two times longer when compared to all other racial/ethnic groups. We will continue to provide and fight for Paid Family Medical Leave that enables parents to remain in the workforce, helps to reduce the pay gap, and also helps to break down outdated gender roles by equally supporting men as fathers and caregivers.

We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Erin Maye Quade and her family.

*Note: Erin Maye Quade is an employee of Gender Justice. Her candidacy for State Senate is independent from her work at Gender Justice.


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