Shocked, heartbroken and humiliated

The Contreras Family • Detroit
Jami & Krista Contreras live near Detroit and are the parents of a beautiful baby girl, Bay. While you might not remember their names – it’s likely you’ve heard their story.

MI_Contreras1Jami and Krista became parents about 7 months ago, and it’s been an incredible joy for them.

“This was the most exciting time of our lives,” Jami said, “We have been preparing for months. We decorated the nursery, picked out the perfect name, and even interviewed multiple pediatricians to ensure we had the best fit for our family,” said Jami.

So, when Bay was just 6 days old, they loaded her ever-so-cautiously into the car to head to her first doctor’s appointment – and their first as a family.

“We were so nervous; I think we drove 25 mph the whole way!” the couple said.

They brought Bay into the waiting room in her car-seat and waited for their doctor to arrive – but the doctor never showed.

Instead, a physician they’d never met or heard of came to their room and told them she would be Bay’s doctor and quickly began the check up.

“We were so confused we had to stop her and ask her what was going on,” said Jami.

This new doctor informed them that the pediatrician they had selected had “prayed on the matter” and would not be able to care for Bay.

“We were shocked, heartbroken and humiliated,” Krista said.

“It was a quiet ride home from the doctor’s office. All the excitement we’d had when we left the house was replaced with fear and uncertainty,” said Jami.

MI_contreras2It was because of this experience that the Contreras family testified in opposition to any so-called “religious freedom” bills before the Michigan legislature. These proposals, also called “RFRA” would explicitly add this right of refusal to Michigan laws.

“If these RFRA-like laws pass,” said Jami, “we’re scared of what’s ahead for our family. This time it was a pediatrician refusing to care for our six-day-old. But, where does it end?” she asked.

“As awful as this was, we were also lucky this time,” Krista said, “This was just a wellness checkup. What if it had been a true emergency?”

“Our daughter deserves access to the same resources as every other child in Michigan. This time, she was 6 days old, I just pray that next time she’s not six years old and asking us why she’s being treated differently because of what our family looks like,” Jami said.

The Contreras family has called on lawmakers to think about ALL Michigan families and reject any RFRA-like bills. Click here to stand with them!
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