National Coalition of 100 Black Women president visits Del. to discuss access to health care

National Coalition of 100 Black Women President Virginia Harris visited Delaware chapter members to discuss disparities in the health care system. (Zoë Read/WHYY)

National Coalition of 100 Black Women President Virginia Harris visited Delaware chapter members to discuss disparities in the health care system. (Zoë Read/WHYY)

Members of the Delaware chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, or NCBW, are uniting to address healthcare disparities for Black women.

NCBW national president Virginia Harris visited the members in the First State to formulate a plan of action to advocate for affordable health care for Black women.

The Delaware chapter of the NCBW, an organization dedicated to empowering Black women and girls, released a report two years ago finding that while 90% of Black women have health insurance, access to quality care is a challenge. Black women have higher mortality rates for heart disease, breast cancer and pregnancy-related complications.

Harris said wage disparities between men and women, and Black and white women, contribute to the barrier in access to health care.

“If we can provide awareness, screening and help for those who are underinsured and underserved, we can save more lives,” she said during her visit to Delaware.

“We have so many women working two or three jobs just to survive,” Harris added. “So, at the end of the day, they have to make a choice between food for their children or health care. And their choice is their children.”

Harris said her organization is lobbying local legislators to pass laws that will expand access to affordable, high-quality health care.

“What I would like [the local chapter] to be able to do is know the steps we need to take,” she said. “They need to be bold, determined and steadfast on these issues. They didn’t just happen today, so it’s going to take effort and time to get our voices heard and make sure the politicians understand we will no longer be marginalized and will be a voice for the voiceless.”

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