Why These Moms Are Sharing the Heartbreaking Story of Their Newborn Being Denied Medical Care
5 months ago, 21 Apr 01:53
After Obergefell v. Hodges made marriage equality the law of the land in 2015, many believed the ultimate, progressive step had been achieved for LGBTQ Americans. While the landmark civil rights case was an overdue step in the right direction, it didn't cover all the bases. In 31 states, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against members of the LGBT community seeking housing, jobs, and medical care. And three states—Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina—have laws preventing the passage of nondiscrimination legislation at the local level.
For an example of how this plays out in towns all over the country, look no further than the heartbreaking story one couple is now sharing as part of a new LGBT Acceptance campaign called “Beyond I Do,” which launched this week.
Michiganders Krista and Jami Contreras tied the knot in 2012. When they joyfully welcomed their first child, a daughter named Bay, into the world three years ago, they chose a pediatrician. But upon bringing their newborn in for her first appointment, the doctor refused them medical care, citing the couple's sexual orientation as her reason.
Krista, Jami, their daughter Bay, and their 10-month-old son Sylas appear in one "Beyond I Do" PSA, offering an up close and personal glimpse of what they tell Parents.com was a "humiliating" experience.
"It was an out of body experience," Jami explains to Parents.com, sharing that she and Krista took "so many steps" to preempt an incident exactly like this one. They actually moved more than three hours away from their original location, did their homework, and made it clear to their doctors from the start that they're a two-mom family and both very involved parents. So, after all that, having to contend with such blatant, distressing discrimination was especially "horrific."
"As any parent knows, you’re going to that first visit to get reassurance," Jami notes. "You’re new to this parenting thing, you’re pretty much scared out of your mind you’re going to break this newborn baby. You want someone to reassure you that you’re loving your child, she’s healthy and she’s happy, and to keep doing what you’re doing. [But] we left with questions and fear instead of reassurance at all. We were left with this doubt, asking ourselves what could we have done to prevent this. There was no preventing this. There was nothing we could have done. We did everything we could do."
Because they had already driven a half hour to the office, wanted their child to receive care, and didn't know how long it would take them to get an appointment at another office lined up, they went through with the appointment, during which another doctor in the practice examined Bay. On their way out the door, the woman at the front desk asked if they wanted to make a follow-up. "I said, 'No, we won’t actually be back,'" Jami recalls. "She said, 'Yeah, I definitely understand.' That caught me off-guard. It was humiliating." And on the way home, the new moms "fought back tears."
Initially, the couple held off on sharing what had happened. "We didn’t actually say anything right ...
Category: magazine parents baby