Jillian, a pregnant Black woman, visited the Philadelphia Pregnancy Center in Norristown to get a doctor's note that was approved for her to begin maternity leave.
Jezebel explained that Jillian already has a 3-year-old child and she was already experiencing pain and other complications, which have made it difficult to continue working as a home health aide. Her doctor had already approved the note, but when she went to the Pregnancy Center, she was met by a white nurse practitioner who accused her of fraud.
The Today Show blog has identified the woman as Theresa Smigo.
“What were you thinking about when you got pregnant? That you were not going to work?” Smigo says to Jillian in the video in front of other patients in the waiting room. It's a violation of patient privacy laws, Jezebel noted.
“Because I had three kids. I worked up until the second they were born," Smigo whined.
“I was thinking about having a kid,” replies Jillian.
It gets much worse as the nurse accuses Jillian of being a fraud.
“It’s not fraud — if it was fraud, the doctor wouldn’t be getting me my note right now,” Jillian says back. “How do you know how I feel? How do you know how my body feels inside?”
“Because I stuck my hand in there and checked your cervix,” the nurse replies.
“OK, you checked my cervix, but how do you know how my bones feel? But how do you know how my body feels? My legs? My back? How do you know how that feels? How do you know how my nausea feels? How do you know how my cramps feel?” Jillian asks.
This wasn't the first time that she felt something hinky going on with the nurse.
“Our first interaction was a little bit shaky,” Jillian said in an interview with Today. “I gave her the benefit of the doubt. I just kind of overlooked certain things, like the way she was like speaking to me.”
Jillian said she made it clear to the nurse that she has scoliosis, which is when the spine is curved. Pregnancy adds stress to the joints and bones as it is, and dealing with scoliosis on top of it can make things much more painful.
The incident escalated to the police being called, and the women were told not to have further contact with each other.
\u201cThis is how Black women experience maternal mortality at such high rates. And, why is this nurse second guessing the doctor? Furthermore, what business is it of this nurse IF the patient doesn't want to work during her pregnancy?\u201d— Queen Thicktoria, Esq. Stands with Ukraine (@Queen Thicktoria, Esq. Stands with Ukraine) 1665156030
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