Pregnant Black Woman in Terrible TikTok Video Sues Nurse Who Mistreated Her

Plus, sharks, Cherelle and a whole week in the 80s.

nurse practitioner theresa smigo seen at philly pregnancy center in a viral tiktok video recorded by the woman now suing her

Nurse practitioner Theresa Smigo seen at Philly Pregnancy Center in a viral TikTok video recorded by the woman now suing her (TikTok)

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Theresa Smigo and Philly Pregnancy Center Sued By Patient From Viral TikTok Video

It was the OB-GYN appointment seen around the world.

Last October, 25-year-old Upper Darby resident Jillian Rightmyer walked into the Norristown branch of Philly Pregnancy Center, seven months pregnant. During the appointment, she reported unusual pain and other complications. Rightmyer asked for a doctor’s note so she could start her maternity leave early.

“What were you thinking about when you got pregnant — that you were not going to work?” nurse practitioner Theresa Smigo, who is white, asked Rightmyer, who is Black, as Rightmyer waited in the lobby for her note. “I’m just curious. Because I had three kids. I worked up until the second they were born.”

“But am I you?” Rightmyer retorted. “Are you me? Do you know how I feel?”

“Because I stuck my hand in there and checked your cervix,” Smigo later told her with a chuckle.

During the interaction, which Rightmyer shared on TikTok, Smigo suggested that Rightmyer may be committing fraud. You can watch the video here:

@auntkaren0 #duet with @goddess_jay_ #philly #tdwhbwwh #pregnancy ♬ original sound – Jillian

The video went viral, sparking outrage and conversations about how Black women are treated in the health-care system. Rightmyer wound up on the Today show, where she discussed previous interactions she had had with Smigo and the Philly Pregnancy Center. The American Nursing Association and the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association released a strong statement condemning Smigo’s actions. And the Philly Pregnancy Center issued its own statement, apologizing for the incident and saying it would investigate. Smigo never publicly commented on the matter, and my repeated attempts to reach her then and now were unsuccessful. According to one employee of the Philly Pregnancy Center, Smigo works elsewhere these days.

Now, Rightmyer is seeking justice in the courts. She’s filed a lawsuit against Smigo, the Philly Pregnancy Centers, and others. The suit, which was was originally filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and has now been transferred to federal court, also alleges that Smigo hit Rightmyer during the interaction, an allegation Rightmyer made soon after the incident.

Rightmyer “simply requested adequate prenatal and medical care, to no avail,” reads the suit. Instead, her “requests were met with discrimination, hostility and abuse.”

The suit, which seeks unspecified damages, accuses the defendants of racial discrimination, negligence, and assault, among other alleged offenses.

The lawyer representing the defendants did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Shark Attack!

Just what all the Jersey Shore towns wanted to hear right before Memorial Day: a shark bit a teen girl, who was surfing in Stone Harbor. The good news: The girl is fine. She required just a handful of stitches. And let’s be real: it’s not like you were going to go into the ocean this weekend. The water is far too cold.

Cherelle Parker Speaks

She missed her primary victory speech last Tuesday night due to a dental emergency. But Cherelle Parker emerged on Monday to hold her first press conference since securing the Democratic nomination for mayor. She had a lot to say, including about that damn tooth:

Summer Temps Are Coming

Memorial Day is considered by many to be the unofficial start to summer in these parts. And the projected temperatures support that start. According to the latest forecast, we won’t see a single day next week that doesn’t get into the 80s. And the forecasted high for next Thursday is pushing against 90. Something tells me I’m going to need to add “install window units” to my weekend to-do list.

And Our July 4th Performers Are…

Demi Lovato and Ludacris. Meh. Could be worse. Remember when the featured Fourth of July talent included those “Who Let the Dogs Out” guys?

By the Numbers

40: Philly performers expected to sing Bob Dylan songs at Ardmore Music Hall on Wednesday night as a tribute to Dylan, who turns 82 that day.

45: Number of dolphins and whales found stranded on New Jersey beaches so far this year. The annual average is about 50 such incidents, and we have seven more months to go.

5,000: Shutoff notices the Philadelphia Water Department has sent out in the last few weeks. Shutoffs resume for the season on May 31st. So you might want to check your pile of mail sooner than later.

And from the Not-Again Sports Desk …

At Citizens Bank Park last night, Zack Wheeler started for the Phils and Tommy Henry for the Diamondbacks, who promptly went up 3-0 in the second thanks to, among other things, a solo homer by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. There was this, though!

And Schwarber banged — yes, a solo homer, in the fourth. Then another, by Bryson Stott: 3-2! Alas, Pavin Smith hit one for Arizona in the fifth. No one could say the ball wasn’t carrying. Austin Adams came in for Henry in the sixth and promptly loaded the bases for J.T. Realmuto with two outs. And he flew out. Trea Turner did single in a run beforehand, though: 4-3.

Jeff Hoffman came in to pitch the top of the eighth for the Phils and gave up back-to-back doubles to Christian Walker and Gurriel, who was four-for-four on the night: 5-3. Have I typed “sigh” yet in this? In the bottom of the ninth, Andrew Bellatti walked Geraldo Perdomo, who stole second and scored on an error at first by Kody Clemens. That made it 6-3, and that’s where it stayed.

Rematch tonight at 6:40, suckers.

All Philly Today Sports Desk coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.