This is a perfectly WONDERFUL document written by Nancy Chavez, Senator Killea’s legislative aide, in the weeks following passage of SB 350 (the LMPA of 1993).
I scanned and saved it as a PDF, so it has to be read page by page (total of 3) but it is so well worth your time. The document is too good for me to try to paraphrase — just read it and then go over it a second time so your mind can connect up all the dots.
However, I do want to point something out about what Nancy Chavez’ identifies as the tension between ‘opinions’ and ‘facts’. In the section she calls “Be Prepared”, she advises midwifery activists not to express interact with members of the Legislator or Medical Board based on our personal opinion of the situation (which for me can ONLY be fully expressed by screaming into a pillow!), but instead provide simple factual statements of the kind that can be backed up by documents and records that would be admissible in a Court of Law.
I’ve developed a resonantly effective ways to do acquire, archive and am happy to share the kind of document that Nancy Chavez describes as the basis of a fact-based conversation.
Since I was arrested and prosecuted in August 9th, 1991, I have been come a first a student, and then an archivist of historical documents and legislation, as well as legal records and contemporary publications (including ObGynNews with its little gems about how the OB were going to keep the newly licensed midwives from being able to legally provide PHB services). These documents and records were amassed are expressly for the purpose of establishing:
(a) the legacy practice of midwifery existed and was legally an independent practice that was NOT physician-supervised, but instead enjoyed a collegial relationship with MD, consulting, collaborating and transferring care as appropriate.
(b) The well-documented and systemic prejudice against women as providers of maternity (i.e. non-obstetric) care
(c) The well-fianced and systemic machinations and manipulations of the obstetrical profession to discriminate against, public insult and humiliate, criminalize, and eventually extinguish the independent practice of midwifery and all lawful option for OOH childbirth services.
For just about every conceivable topic, I have either already posted an informative document somewhere on my websites. I am happy to direct you if it isn’t easy to find (Google searches are pretty efficient for locating these docs). If not already on the Web, usually have something helpful in my archive and can provided a scanned copy as an email attachment.
So I am very please to have this not-quite-historial (but it is 20 years old!) document, which is rich with exactly the advise we need in our Hour Of Peril. For the first time, a California legislator is carrying a bill by an opposing group that seeks to amend our LMPA. A midwife in North Carolina was just arrested for the equivalent of manslaughter (using laws that prohibit late-term abortion), and two CNMs who are very ‘mainstream’ (good access to friendly OB back-up) are being prosecuted by the BRN for practicing without physician supervision.
The is our “Arab Spring” or it will be a decade-long ‘smack-down’ that makes seals the fact of childbearing women to 10 or 20 more years in which normal childbirth is conducted and billed as a surgical procedure performed ONLY in hospitals by obstetricians or “physician-entender” CNM, as a “medically-delegated” procedure to be managed under the protocols of the obstetrical department. Of course, a Cesarean rate over 50% will bankrupt the country but what the heck, its only money!