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Judge Hatchett joins PPSNE supporters in New Haven to share her personal story and shed light on America’s Black maternal mortality crisis

(New Haven, Conn.)–– On Monday, September 9, 2019, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England (PPSNE) will host its annual fundraising event in New Haven—entitled Cocktails. Conversation. Concern.—at College Street Music Hall, 238 College Street. Attendees are invited to a reception beginning at 6:15 p.m. and the program will start at 7:15 p.m. This year’s event will feature Judge Glenda A. Hatchett, best known for her starring role on her two-time Emmy-nominated court TV show, Judge Hatchett, and her advocacy work to raise awareness about America’s Black maternal mortality crisis.

In addition to her career in television, Judge Hatchett has over 30 years of experience as a judge, a corporate attorney, and as a board member of corporations and nonprofit organizations. She is a founding partner of The Hatchett Firm, a national law firm dedicated to pursing justice for the families of victims of catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and those who suffered fatal encounters with law enforcement. Judge Hatchett is a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College and Emory University School of Law.

Judge Hatchett has dedicated her powerful voice to raising awareness of America’s growing maternal mortality rate—which disproportionately impacts Black women—after her daughter-in-law, Kira Dixon Johnson, died while giving birth in 2016. The U.S. is the only developed country in the world where the maternal mortality rate is rising, not declining. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50,000 women suffer severe injuries and 700 women die while giving birth each year. Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes and suffer life-threatening complications twice as often as white women.

“Judge Hatchett has an important story to tell, and we are honored to welcome her to New Haven to share her personal experience with our supporters,” said Kafi Rouse, Vice President, Public Relations and Marketing at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. “The maternal mortality and morbidity rate among Black women in this country is a painful reminder of the pervasive racism and inequity built into our health care system. A Black woman is more likely to die or suffer severe harm while pregnant because of her skin color— this is intolerable. We believe that carrying a pregnancy to term should not put someone’s life at risk.” 

This disparity cuts across income and education levels, socioeconomic status and physical health conditions. To close this gap, PPSNE is expanding its services to support maternal health, including increased educational programming and access to primary care. Together with coalition and community partners in Connecticut and Rhode Island, PPSNE is advocating for policies that support and advance reproductive freedom, including legislation to make doula care more accessible, centered in the experiences of Black mothers and Black doulas.

All proceeds from Cocktails. Conversation. Concern. support the high-quality, non-judgmental reproductive health care services provided at 17 health centers across Connecticut and Rhode Island. Annually, 78,000 patients turn to PPSNE for a range of critical, life-saving health care services including wellness exams, birth control, abortion care, cancer screenings, STD/STI testing and treatment, and more—regardless of their ability to pay.

Tickets and sponsorships are available at ppsne.org/newhaven. Members of the media are invited to cover this event—please contact Tim Yergeau at 203-752-2900 for a press pass.