Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Birth is NOT a medical situation

It never was. It never should have been made into a medical event. The events surrounding birth certainly can be enhanced by the benefits of medical science, but normal pregnancies do not require medical intervention. It has been shown more than adequately that birth is actually hindered by medical interventions.

This is clearly not accepted by the AMA. In yet another step of "doctor knows best" Big Brother behaviour, the AMA has recently released it's intention to introduce legislation outlawing homebirth, criminalizing the mothers who have their babies at home.

Grandma? Great Grandma? You're crooks, hear me? What were you thinking???

Here is the text from the Big Push for Midwives Campaign:

CONTACT: Steff Hedenkamp, (816) 506-4630, RedQuill@kc.rr.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, June 16, 2008
Father Knows Best Meets Big Brother Is Watching
Physician Group Seeks to Outlaw Home Birth—Is Jail for Moms Next?
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 16, 2008)—Just in time for Father’s Day, at its annual meeting last
weekend, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a resolution to introduce legislation
outlawing home birth, and potentially making criminals of the mothers who choose home birth with the
help of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) for their families.
“It’s unclear what penalties the AMA will seek to impose on women who choose to give birth at home, either for religious, cultural or financial reasons—or just because they didn’t make it to the hospital in time,” said Susan Jenkins, Legal Counsel for The Big Push for Midwives 2008 campaign. “What we do know, however, is that any state that enacts such a law will immediately find itself in court, since a law dictating where a woman must give birth would be a clear violation of fundamental rights to privacy and other freedoms currently protected by the U.S. Constitution.”

Until the AMA proposed ‘Resolution 205 on Home Deliveries,’ no state had considered legislation
forcing women to deliver their babies in the hospital or limiting the choice of birth setting. Instead, states have regulated the types of midwives that may legally provide care. Currently, 22 states already license and regulate CPMs, who specialize in out-of-hospital maternity care and have received extensive training to qualify as experts in the types of risk assessment and preventive care necessary for safe and high quality care for women who choose give birth at home. Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs), who are trained primarily as hospital-based providers, are licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The resolution did not offer any science-based information for the AMA’s anti-midwife or anti-home birth position. “Maternity care is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States,” said Steff Hedenkamp, Communications Coordinator for The Big Push for Midwives. “So it’s no surprise to see the AMA join the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in its ongoing fight to corner the market and ensure that the only midwives able to practice legally are hospital-based midwives forced to practice under physician control. I will say, though, that I’m shocked to learn that the AMA is taking this turf battle to the next level by setting the stage for outlawing home birth itself—a direct attack on those families who choose home birth, who could be subject to criminal prosecution if the AMA has its way.”

The Big Push for Midwives (http://www.TheBigPushforMidwives.org) is a nationally coordinated campaign organized to advocate for regulation and licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and to push back against the attempts of the American Medical Association to deny American families access to safe and legal midwifery care. Media inquiries should be directed to Steff Hedenkamp (816) 506-4630, RedQuill@kc.rr.com.

The AMA website itself does not display this latest resolution, but they do proudly post their amicus briefs in the court battle against midwifes in MO last year. It's legal to practice midwifery there now, so they lost that fight. Now, I suppose, it's time for another tactic.

I don't believe this will pass. It's a publicity stunt in response to all the good press homebirth has been receiving, namely via Ricki Lake. What annoys me most in this is that, akin to homeschooling, where most teachers you speak to privately think homeschooling is perfectly appropriate and efficacious, most doctors I have personally spoken to think homebirth is fine. The professionals in those fields have their ideas and have concerns I may not share, but they acknowledge on the whole that within certain parameters, life at home is just....life at home. It's safe. It's when you get the advocacy groups, the lobbyists together, that we have a problem. The associations perceive any stray sheep as an assault on their supremacy, an attack their bottom line. The groupthink at their conventions drives us all into an us vs them mentality that is just unnecessary. See http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/18587.html for the horse's mouth; they even released yesterday that they were simply copying the ACOG resolution from last year. Groupthink!

Last I checked, I stand sovereign as an American Citizen. Patriot Act bedamned, I am not willing to sacrifice my rights, and the rights of my children, to groups of employees. Your paychecks will not be guaranteed by constraining our freedoms. We the people will not stand for it.


  1. *sigh* What next?

    You would think with rising health costs, the uninsured, and shortages in nursing and facilities that they would be major supporters of home births.

  2. This is so timely. I asked a cousin of Ed's the other day if she was going to have a home birth and she looked at me like I was crazy. Seriously, I totally thought she was the perfect candidate for one.

  3. Certified Professional Midwives are not legal in Missouri ... in fact, they are felons in the eyes of the state, punishable by up to 7 years in jail. ACOG itself refers to the "hard-ball" tactics they've used in Missouri in their 2007 Legislative Review. To see more about what happened in 2008, read more here ... one question I have is how hard will the hard-ball get for the brave souls standing up to the Big Medicine lobby in Missouri in 2009 now that these AMA resolutions have passed??

  4. Missouri Bill HB2081 would provide for the licensure and regulation of Certified Professional Midwives. It passed the Senate on May 16, 2008.

    More on this from RH Reality check

  5. Amen. It's my uterus, no one else's.