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"We Should all be Able to Have Babies Like White People"

The Nation referenced Dr. Chandra Ford, founding director of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health’s Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice & Health and professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences, and Dr. Gilbert Gee, Fielding School professor of community health sciences, in a story about the cost of IVF treatments, poverty, and health equity

Monday, March 8, 2021

“Push, push, push, Mama; push,” my wife, Joia Crear-Perry, implored. Quiana, angled upright on the birthing bed, replied with grunts of effort. Quiana’s husband, Dooley, offered his support from where he stood at the head of the bed. I stood on the opposite side. It was my first time seeing my wife in action as a gowned and gloved ob-gyn.

“He’s almost here—push, Mama.” Joia sat on a rolling stool between Quiana’s legs, which were hoisted in stirrups. The attending physician stood behind Joia, who repeated the same exhortation to push that was nearly a chant: “Push, push, push, Mama; push.”

I couldn’t see the particulars because of the gown, but I watched in amazement as Quiana birthed Robeson Perry, my biological son with Joia. My wife had assisted in the birthing of her own son by Quiana, our surrogate or “gestational carrier.” After years of fertility treatments and thousands of dollars, our last frozen embryo, of 13, had finally arrived.