Good Morning Sister Doulas, Fellow Birthworkers, and Parents
I am writing this morning with a heavy heart. One of our birth worker friends is in trouble and needs our help. I don’t know all the details, but I will share some of what I do know. There is a midwife in the state of North Carolina that has been arrested for the death of the unborn child by “acute chorioamnionitis and funistis and meconium aspiration.”
According to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, “Meconium aspiration syndrome occurs when a newborn breathes in a mixture of amniotic and other fluid during delivery. It is a leading cause of severe illness and death in newborns and occurs in 5-10 percent of births.” As one respondent educatedly replied, “If meconium aspiration is one of the leading causes of newborn death according to John's Hopkins, then how is this the midwife's fault? Statistics show that 99% of births take place in the hospital, so are the doctors arrested every time this happens in a hospital and blamed for the death?”
North Carolina is a CNM midwife only state. A midwife must then adhere to what regulations the doctor sets before the midwife and in turn the parameters that a woman has in birthing her baby. (In Arizona midwives are not allowed to support a VBAC, a normal variation of birth. In Arizona the doctors do not support VBACs. Where does this leave a mom who has been cut and lives in Arizona?) Rowan Bailey was not licensed, but supported women in how they wanted to birth and were competent in choosing who to birth with. Being unlicensed does not mean a midwife is unqualified, uneducated or lacks skills, as Cindy has explained. Not many years back Virginia had unlicensed midwives and licensure has become a fight in Maryland, using it to take down midwifery as a profession. As we have witnessed here, in Virginia, our CPMs are more than competent to support moms giving birth, as well as our unlicensed midwives have been. Women and babies are capable in birth. Rowan was supporting a mom, who chose her as her support team, and the baby passed. Rowan is not being charged for not adhering to North Carolina’s midwifery
licensure law. She is being charged with murder of an unborn child through the personhood law. “2011 N.C. Sess. Laws, Chap. 60 (HB 215) defines murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, assault inflicting serious bodily injury and assault of an unborn child. "Unborn child" is defined as a member of the species Homo sapiens at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb. These provisions do not apply to lawful acts that cause the death of an unborn child as defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-45.1, acts that are committed in the usual standards of medical practice or acts committed by a pregnant woman that result in a miscarriage or stillbirth. The law repeals N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-18.2.” Mothers, doctors, and abortionists are exempt from this law. It was enacted to protect women from abusers, not their midwife.
What can you do to help? We are raising money for Rowan’s bond, $15,000. When she appears back in court she will be given the money back to apply to her lawyer fees. Carla Hartley, the owner of AAMI, Ancient Art Midwifery Institute, has generously set up this option for donations. "I am working on a way to raise money for Rowan's bail... First .... If you send a check made payable to Rowan Bailey I will give you an AAMI shop credit in the
same amount....mp3s and more. Send to Carla Hartley 30223 Calle Belcanto. Menifee, Ca 92584. If you send $500 I will give you a $700 credit." I will tell you this is a great offer. The MP3s are invaluable in our birth work. There is knowledge from all over the world on them. Another offer is http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-for-rowan-bailey-midwife?show_todos=trueStephanie Dawn is offering some birth business goodies. This isn’t just a midwifery issue, but a women’s right to choose how she wants to birth and with whom.
Gina Kirby will be hosting Rowan on her talk show today at 1:30pm (EST) The Witch Hunt:Midwifery & the myth of Freedom. “Today we are talking to Rowan Bailey, a birth advocate in North Carolina, where midwives are literally criminalized and Homebirth is virtually prohibited because mothers are forced to choose hospital birth or unassisted birth. Rowen is talking to us from jail, where she was taken because she assisted a mother in excercising her own human right to birth her baby where she chosen…”
Have a beautiful day!