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Maternity ward to close after death of Black mother

April Valentine entered Centinela Hospital Medical Center’s maternity ward in Inglewood, California, on January 9 and tragically passed away during labor the next day due to a blood clot. Her grieving family and partner, Nigha Robertson, have since filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the hospital, alleging negligence by its staff. The family also raised concerns about “systemic and racist practices” at the facility, prompting local authorities to conduct a state inspection. The hospital has defended its standards and rejected claims of racial bias. In an unrelated move, Centinela Hospital announced the upcoming closure of its maternity ward. Valentine, aware of the higher risks Black women face during childbirth in the U.S., had taken extra precautions, like hiring a birthing doula. Tragically, her baby girl was delivered through an emergency cesarean section, unresponsive but alive. The state health department’s review found the hospital at fault for deficiencies that might lead to severe injuries or deaths and subsequently fined them $75,000. The family is now advocating for better maternal care standards, particularly for Black women, to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

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