Jodie Turner-Smith Said She Decided to Give Birth at Home Because of Systemic Racism

The actress pointed to statistics that show "the risk of pregnancy-related deaths is more than three times greater for Black women than for white women."

Jodie Turner Smith

Image via Getty/Matt Crossick/PA Images

Jodie Turner Smith

Throughout the global pandemic, an increasing number of expectant mothers have opted for at-home births. Actress Jodie Turner-Smith was among those women; however, she said she and her husband, Joshua Jackson, chose to forgo a hospital birth prior to the health crisis. Turner-Smith opened up about her pregnancy journey in an essay for British Vogue's September issue. She confirmed the decision to have an at-home birth was largely due to systemic racism and the pregnancy-related mortality rates among Black women.

"We had already decided on a home birth, because of concerns about negative birth outcomes for Black women in America — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of pregnancy-related deaths is more than three times greater for Black women than for white women, pointing, it seems to me, to systemic racism," she said, according to an excerpt obtained by People magazine.

The Queen & Slim star and Jackson welcomed their first child in April, about a month after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a national emergency. 

"We never imagined that in the coming weeks, hospitals around the country would begin restricting who could be present in the birthing rooms, forcing mothers to deliver without the support person or people of their choice," Turner-Smith continued. "Delivering at home ensured that I had what every single woman deserves to have: full agency in determining my birth support."

She went on to thank Jackson for his unyielding support as she spent nearly four days in labor.

"It made me realize how lucky and privileged I am to have a partner willing to follow me around the world, supporting me while I did my job," Turner-Smith added. "Both of us had watched our own mothers struggle to raise children without such support," she adds. "Both of us were determined to create something for ourselves," she said of Jackson. "He kept saying to me, 'There's no part of this that I'm going to miss.'"

You can read Turner-Smith's full essay in the latest issue of British Vogue, which hit newsstands this week.

Latest in Pop Culture