Dr. Jackie Doubles Down On Controversial Remarks About Black Women and Pregnancy Pains, No Apology Issued
Married to Medicine star Dr. Jackie Walters found herself at the center of controversy when a YouTube Live clip resurfaced featuring her making remarks about pregnant Black women. In the footage, Dr. Jackie made comments suggesting that Black women exaggerate their pregnancy pains “cry wolf,” to get time off work. This sparked outrage on social media, with many people expressing their disappointment and anger.
Addressing the backlash, Dr. Jackie, 65, took to her Instagram Stories to respond to the controversy. She began by acknowledging that a clip from a nearly two-hour video had been taken out of context, making it appear as if she didn’t take the issue of the Black maternal health crisis seriously. Dr. Jackie stated that her life’s work has been focused on highlighting and addressing the issues that disproportionately affect Black maternal mothers compared to their counterparts. However, she did not apologize for her dangerous comments that have harmed thousands of Black women during childbirth.
“Recently, a clip from a nearly 2 hour video was taken out of context to make it appear that I, somehow, take lightly, what I have advocated for concerning the devastating problem facing the Black maternal health crisis,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories Thursday.
The 65-year-old Married to Medicine star stated that addressing and resolving the challenges disproportionately affecting Black maternal mothers has been her lifelong dedication. She continued, “It has been my life’s work to highlight and attempt to rectify the issues that devastatingly impact Black maternal mothers versus our counterparts.”
She emphasized that her intention in the broader conversation was to empower patients with information and tools to effectively communicate their needs with their doctors during pregnancy. Dr. Jackie stressed the importance of advocating for one’s own health, especially considering the mistreatment and gaslighting that many Black women experience in the medical system.
“As a physician, I educate my patients everyday to be their own best health advocate. As we continue to face medical mistreatment and gaslighting, my intention with the broader conversation was to ensure patients enter their pregnancies armed with information and tools to effectively communicate their needs with their doctors to ensure a positive outcome.”
Dr. Jackie primarily caters to celebrity patients like Kandi Burruss and Tamar Braxton, claims she’s committed to fighting for the lives of Black mothers and babies. She emphasized that she would continue her efforts to rectify the disparities in maternal health outcomes faced by Black women.
“The reason I became an OBGYN is because growing up I saw such a lack of diversity amongst medical professionals, and was determined to be part of the change. Yesterday, today and tomorrow, I will continue to fight for the lives of Black mothers and babies.” She concluded her statement.
The controversial remarks came from a YouTube Live video in April 2020, during a conversation with her Married to Medicine co-star, Dr. Heavenly. In the video, Dr. Jackie suggested that African-American women might sometimes be perceived as “dramatic” when discussing their health concerns during pregnancy, potentially affecting their work status.
These comments stirred outrage among viewers, particularly given the well-documented racial disparities in maternal health outcomes. Black women are statistically more likely to face adverse outcomes during childbirth, with factors such as healthcare quality, chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias contributing to these disparities, according to the CDC.
In response to the controversy, social media users criticized Dr. Jackie, with some calling for her removal from the show Married to Medicine. Many expressed their frustration with her comments, given the critical issues surrounding Black maternal health.
Dr. Jackie Walters has been a long-standing cast member on Married to Medicine, appearing in all 10 seasons since the show’s debut in 2013. Her response to the controversy sought to clarify her intentions and emphasize her dedication to addressing the racial disparities in maternal health outcomes faced by Black women.
Avigail is an Entertainment blogger at All About The Tea, who specializes in The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Potomac. Avigail has a background in marketing. She’s a Brooklynite living in the Bahamas, with a passion for travel, writing, reality TV watching, pop culture and spoken word.