Candidate Coleman initiates district tour

Published 7:00 am Sunday, December 10, 2023

State Senator and Congressional District 2 candidate Merika Coleman has initiated the launch of a district-wide tour in response to the recent closure of the maternity ward at a rural Alabama hospital. 

The referenced closure occurred on Nov. 18, when Monroe County Hospital shuttered its maternity ward, leaving the community without a local birthing hospital. Residents of the county which becomes part of the newly drawn district in Alabama’s upcoming November congressional elections, left pregnant women in the county traveling 35-103 miles for the nearest delivery options.

In a Nov. 30 media release Coleman announced her tour pointing out that as a Black woman who understands the unique challenges faced by communities of color, and as a mother who recognizes the significance of accessible maternal healthcare, she felt compelled to take action. According to Coleman, the closure of the maternity ward not only affects the health of mothers and infants but also underscores the systemic disparities that persist in our healthcare system.

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“We are in this mess because the Republicans refused to expand Medicaid and passed an abortion trigger law that caused some OBGYN doctors to stay away from the state,” Coleman said. “Republicans chose to spend billions of dollars on prisons instead of helping hospitals, nursing homes and providing much needed services for Alabama’s mothers and children.” 

Specifically designed to center on the experiences of constituents in the district, the tour will include community forums and engagements aimed to create a platform where the voices of community members facing unique challenges can be addressed.

Coleman said she plans to emphasize the importance of intersectional policies that consider the racial and gender disparities in healthcare, education, and other areas. The Senator emphasized her goal is not only to address the immediate concerns arising from the maternity ward closure but also to pave the way for lasting change that ensures equity for all.

The tour will begin in Monroeville on Thursday, Dec. 7 at Mrs. Teresa’s Homemade Treats located at 1 W Claiborne Street at 6p.m. In addition to women’s health, Coleman hopes to talk with community members about health care, the economy, gun safety, education, infrastructure, education, environmental justice and jobs.

Coleman’s Campaign Manager, Dee Reed, said dates for stops in Butler and Crenshaw counties have not yet been set. Dates for other counties include Clarke and Monroe counties on Dec. 7, Mobile County Dec. 9, Washington County Dec. 10, Pike and Bullock counties on Dec. 11 and Montgomery County on Dec. 12.

Coleman said she encourages active participation from the community to collectively work towards solutions that prioritize the well-being of families across Congressional District 2.

For more information on Coleman’s district-wide tour and updates on the schedule, visit www.merikaforcongress.com.