Home Birth Advocacy

Protecting the Choice to Birth at Home

4 Comments 24 February 2011

Home Birth in the News

A North Caroline midwife was arrested for practicing midwifery illegally after rushing a newborn to the hospital.

Expectant mother Jennifer, a second time client of midwife Amy, is outraged by the arrest.

In NC, there are no laws regulating certified professional midwives.  This leaves virtually no access to safe out of hospital birth in the state.

Local physician, Dr. Henry Dorn, puts it this way “It’s kind of like prohibition. Just because you prohibit something doesn’t mean people aren’t going to do it. They’ll just do it less safely.”


So how do we ensure safe home birth? The solution seems simple, but the debate is heated within the home birth community. And if were up to most obs, the option to birth at home would be eradicated immediately.

Here’s one home birth advocate suggestion:

“…go semi-radical and get on the news, make a big stink and be annoying to reporters. Seek out those with your same beliefs that has access to the airwaves and fight hard. Just as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. stood up for their beliefs, we need to as well. It won’t be easy, pretty or fun, but it has to be done to equal the playing field.” – Valerie

We can take to the streets, we can call our representatives, we can donate to local organizations like Friends of Michigan Midwives

In fact, we have to.

If we don’t, things like this will keep happening.

And perhaps worse, new laws will be written by the opposition and introduced to our state legislatures tied to a hundred dollar bill. That’s right – hospitals and doctors make donations to our state representatives.

Read Missouri Legislature Targets Midwives.

What Can You DO?

If you support home birth, get involved in any way you can! Donate to a local cause, write your representatives and/or newspaper, anything!

Start by signing this petition: Help make midwifery legal in North Carolina

MANA, (Midwives Alliance of North America) provides a great state-by-state run down of midwifery legality in all 50 states on this chart.

*a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives[18] (NARM) and is qualified to provide the midwives model of care. – Wikipedia

*photo credit

Your Comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Kate Nolan says:

    I commit to seeking out groups in Illinois that are seeking to ameliorate the home birth situation in our state.

  2. Maria says:

    If you live in NC, join NCFOM and Where’s My Midwife? on March 2nd for the Birth Freedom March! Visit http://www.ncfom.org for details.

  3. Cassandra says:

    I recently sent letters to the Oregon Midwifery Council to help defeat mandatory licensing in Oregon. The bill that was proposed would have made it possible to prosecute family members, friends, doulas, birth photographers or anyone else present at a homebirth without licensing. If I had access to a car on the day the hearing happened for the bill, I would have gone to it as well as sending letters.

    Last year I also showed support for my birth center while they were filing a lawsuit against a local hospital for filing false claims of negligence against midwives for attending homebirths, which they only do for VBACs, twins and breech, trying to say they shouldn’t be allowed to attend those births at all.

    These are small measures, but I believe in my right to make choices for myself. I have before and will continue to stand up for my right to give birth in whatever manner I choose with whomever I want in attendance.

  4. Kelly Mellentine says:

    This hits very close to home because Amy was our midwife, and she deserves better than to be treated as a common criminal!!! Please visit NCFOM.org there is information on a march/rally on March 2 for anyone interested!! There are also links of ways to donate to Amys legal fund!!

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