First Nations advocate says ending birth alerts in Manitoba isn’t enough

The First Nations family advocate for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs says ending birth alerts isn’t enough and many people she speaks with are still concerned about their babies being taken into care.

Cora Morgan says that means some pregnant people are uncomfortable seeking services because they worry they will be flagged.

Birth alerts have long been criticized by Indigenous leaders who say the practice is stacked against their families.

The final report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls said the alerts are “racist and discriminatory and are a gross violation of the rights of the child, the mother, and the community.”

Read more: Indigenous mother proposes class-action lawsuit on birth alerts in Manitoba

Manitoba’s families minister claimed in question period last week that the number of newborns being apprehended has dropped by 75 per cent since the province ended the controversial practice of birth alerts.

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But the minister’s office clarified later that newborn apprehensions actually decreased by 65 per cent since 2016 when the Progressive Conservatives took office.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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