or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Connect With Other Moms › Moms In Your Area › North and South Carolina and Tennessee › NC Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) ARRESTED!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

NC Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) ARRESTED!!

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

 

RALEIGH, NC – On February 19, a Certified Professional Midwife who would be licensed and regulated in neighboring states was arrested for performing the duties for which she is trained.  Charged with practicing midwifery without a license, her practice is in jeopardy.  Should it close, dozens of pregnant women will face a crisis of care.  “Our focus is on the mothers,” says a fellow Certified Professional Midwife.  “This is an unfortunate day for mothers in North Carolina.”  It is also an unfortunate day for the taxpayers of North Carolina, as they face the potential for a huge bill as the case winds its way through the criminal courts.

Unlike the laws in Virginia, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Florida, North Carolina law denies childbearing women access to legally practicing Certified Professional Midwives, who are specially trained as experts in the provision of out-of-hospital maternity care. Because North Carolina does not license CPMs, they remain open to criminal prosecution for unlicensed health care practice, despite the fact that they are the primary care providers for women all across the United States who deliver their babies in private homes and freestanding birth centers.

CPMs are legally recognized in 27 states, but North Carolina is one of a handful of states that explicitly prohibit their practice. The arrest of one of the state’s most experienced and well-respected CPMs has sent shockwaves throughout the home birth community, leaving pregnant women across the state wondering if their midwife will be next.

“Using the police and the criminal courts to investigate and discipline health care providers is the most costly, inefficient, and ineffective form of professional regulation possible,” said Katie Prown, PhD, Campaign Manager of The Big Push for Midwives Campaign.  “If this proceeds to trial the taxpayers of North Carolina are looking at hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars wasted, when a simple case review is all that is indicated.”  

Despite a groundswell of grassroots support from across the state, the North Carolina General Assembly has repeatedly declined to pass legislation to license and regulate CPMs, thanks to entrenched opposition from the North Carolina Medical Society.

“It is time we stop rolling over to the bullies and special interests, manage our house the right way, and let democracy and common sense prevail,” said Russ Fawcett, Vice President of the North Carolina Friends of Midwives. “In this economy we simply cannot afford to waste resources on prosecuting midwives when we have a simple, cost-effective solution at hand—enacting legislation to license and regulate CPMs, just like our neighbors have done.”

North Carolina Friends of Midwives is a grassroots organization of advocates dedicated to promoting, supporting, and protecting access to midwifery care in North Carolina.

 

Join NCFOM NOW! www.ncfom.org/membership.html

Midwife supporters will be meeting in Raleigh March 2nd. Join NCFOM to stay up-to-date on this issue and to show your support for NC's unlicensed midwives.

post #2 of 57

From NCFoM -

 
Dear Friends,
 
We all were hoping today would not happen.  We were hoping we would pass our legislation this session and prevent this.  Well, we haven't yet and it has happened.
 
Our beloved Amy Medwin, CPM has been arrested.  They are closing their practice.
 
Many women now have a problem.  What will they now do?
 
Below is our press release to get out in front of the media with our message.  We are formulating our near term plan to both
Protect and support Amy
Use this to our advantage to pass legislation.
 
Please prepare yourself for dramatic action.  We will head up to Jones St. Wednesday, March 2nd to make it crystal clear to the legislators that this ain't right.  If we can't turn this around, we will open the door to other prosecutions.
 
Amy is healing with people who care very deeply for her and trying to figure out where she stands.  I will keep you posted.  I can assure everyone that we will step up for Amy.
 
Get mad folks.  Get angry.  Nurture your outrage and cultivate it for useful purpose.  We must turn this around, Friends.  Stay tuned.
 
Yours,
 
Russ
 
Russ Fawcett
Vice President
North Carolina Friends of Midwives 
post #3 of 57

I'll be in Raleigh on Wednesday.  Who else is coming?

post #4 of 57

Can someone keep things updated on info about coming? We would be coming from hours away!

post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 

Yes, I'm talking with Russ from NCFOM now to see what the next steps are in the Raleigh meting. I'll post as soon as we have the plans.

post #6 of 57

This is outrageous.  I'm so sorry for Amy, and for the many clients who are now left without her services.

 

Women deserve the right to choose where and how to give birth, and while the NC Medical Society might not agree with the idea of homebirth, they certainly shouldn't be allowed to restrict women from making an informed decision for themselves.

 

post #7 of 57

We would be coming from the OBX area. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was so stressed and distraught because there were NOOO midwives that would come from in state and out to assist in her birth. Our birth center had closed and I felt so stuck. I want to fight for other moms so they don't have to feel the way that I did! PLEASE keep me posted:) And if you have the extra time, my email is jcoble25@gmail.com. Again, thank you!

Jennifer

post #8 of 57

Me and my family will definitely be there to support Amy and every other midwife practicing in NC. I'm due in 3 months... I NEED Amy! This law isn't only ridiculous, it is an infringement upon a mother's most basic of human rights!! It's time to fight. We must regain our freedoms. We cannot let this go.

post #9 of 57

How rough for Amy!  We need midwives like her.  Women should be able to choose.  I hope a lot of people turn out to show their support.  Awaiting action updates.

post #10 of 57

This is horrible news - people here are angry!  I've never met her but a lot of my friends have had her as their midwife.  

post #11 of 57

I am so sad to hear this! She is a great MW!

post #12 of 57

Well said and right on.  Thanks!


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post

I think you're the one confusing direct entry midwives with CPMs.  Also, a lot of CPMs are certified in other states (maybe all of them?  Is that where the certification part of their name comes in?).  Lots of other states recognize CPMs.  This isn't just random people hanging up signs saying they're open for business. 

 

And yes, what she did was illegal.  Nobody is questioning that fact.  What we're questioning is if it should have been illegal in the first place. 

 

Becoming a CNM isn't a simple process.  You're becoming a nurse AND a midwife.  You're learning a lot that is outside of the scope of midwifery.  A CPM is learning what is needed for midwifery, but doesn't have to learn some of the other things that a nurse would.  A lot of people don't really care if their midwife can also treat their ear infection or foot problems.

 

Becoming a CPM also isn't a simple process, but you're learning what you need to know.

 

It's a complicated issue, and you're missing the point by trying to make it black and white.

 

If I've got any of the details wrong, someone please jump in- but I think my gist is correct.

post #13 of 57

This is a situation similar to the history of chiropractic that I would like to share with you.  There was a time that Chiropractors were being jailed for "practicing medicine without a license"  despite the fact that they were trained in chiropractic and practicing chiropractic.  Those brave chiropractors who were jailed set forth the process that created licensure and regulation for the practice of chiropractic as a separate entity.  The medical establishment fought us tooth and nail, but we not only survived, we thrived because it is what our patients wanted.  We honor them regularly because they paved the way. 

 

It is clear, with increasing numbers of women seeking homebirth, that CPMs are a necessary option of childbirth.   I support Amy 1000% because, while what she did was illegal, it was also RIGHT!

post #14 of 57

So, moving away from our good friend who thinks we're wrong.

 

I have a couple questions about CPMs vs CNMs.

 

CNMs have to operate under Dr back up.  And I think this is probably one of the main reasons that CNMs get such bad raps as being "medwives." I know this is true for the CNMs at WBWC.  There are many cases that even if they wanted to take, they can't, because they risk losing their contract with UNC.

 

Is the same true if CPMs were recognized by NC?  They'd then have to operate with Dr backup?  How would this work in reality, considering there's already a lack of back-up drs for the CNMs in the area, right? 

 

I know some would argue that if the dr risks someone out of a homebirth that the midwife has no business delivering anyhow, and I understand that.  But I'm just thinking logistically, what would change if CPMs were recognized?  Would DEMs just end up filling a void left by the newly recognized CPMs?  Different people would have differing opions on if that is a bad thing or not, but I'm just curious.

post #15 of 57

Amy is certified and is very well qualified.  She was my midwife and delivered my son.  I had complications that she dealt with with care and expertise.  i am sure that the quality of care I received is far superior to what I would have undergone in a conventional setting.  It is a parent's right and responsibility to choose.  It is the state's responsibility to regulate and license.  We are calling for lincensure for qualified CPMs, not sub-standard care.  Amy's certification is good in other states, not NC.  NC is the problem, not Amy.

post #16 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post

So, moving away from our good friend who thinks we're wrong.

 

I have a couple questions about CPMs vs CNMs.

 

CNMs have to operate under Dr back up.  And I think this is probably one of the main reasons that CNMs get such bad raps as being "medwives." I know this is true for the CNMs at WBWC.  There are many cases that even if they wanted to take, they can't, because they risk losing their contract with UNC.

 

Is the same true if CPMs were recognized by NC?  They'd then have to operate with Dr backup?  How would this work in reality, considering there's already a lack of back-up drs for the CNMs in the area, right? 

 

I know some would argue that if the dr risks someone out of a homebirth that the midwife has no business delivering anyhow, and I understand that.  But I'm just thinking logistically, what would change if CPMs were recognized?  Would DEMs just end up filling a void left by the newly recognized CPMs?  Different people would have differing opions on if that is a bad thing or not, but I'm just curious.

 

There are a number of ways this is handled.  In VA for instance, CPMs were licensed as independent practitioners, not requiring physician supervision like CNMs needed to practice.  NC has supervisory language in the laws regarding CNM practice, which nurse-midwives in this state are now working to change.  Hopefully when the day comes in NC that CPMs are legally recognized to practice, their practice won't be inhibited by ridiculous physician supervision agreements.  CPMs as well as CNMs should be able to consult with a physician when the need arises, not have their practice at the mercy of whether a doc will sign for them or not. 
 

post #17 of 57

This thread has been returned with many many posts removed.

 

FYT is support only so please let's keep debate out of this thread.

 

I actually believe that this thread belongs a bit better in Activism but it can stay here as long as the debates stay out of it. 

 

Please feel free to ask me any questions.

 

-A

post #18 of 57

I actually traveled from a state with midwife licensing to a non-licensed state to have my homebirth.  Once midwives in my old state (in which I no longer live anyway) were licensed, the gov't agency that oversaw their licensing began to gradually pass regulations that took away more and more of their ability to make a case-by-case judgment about what clients they'd attend.  They were so scared of losing their license to practice that the health department (which was, obviously, strongly influenced by doctors and not midwives) then allowed the OBs to start to classify what births they thought a midwife should or should not attend, instead of developing a board consisting primarily of midwives to determine the regulations.  So the story goes: we'll license midwives, but we'll still not consider midwifery a separate profession and we'll just let the doctors regulate you.

 

But yes, in licensed states (that I know of), CPMs get a doctor backup.

 

And, given all of that, I still support licensure, PARTICULARLY IF the licensure is developed and overseen by professionals in the field of MIDWIFERY.  Providing care for the most possible women needs to be a heavy factor.  I just wish that we'd still let women make their own choices about their births...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post

 

Is the same true if CPMs were recognized by NC?  They'd then have to operate with Dr backup?  How would this work in reality, considering there's already a lack of back-up drs for the CNMs in the area, right? 

post #19 of 57
Thread Starter 

 

Dramatic Action at the State Capitol

BIRTH FREEDOM MARCH

 

We are on the brink of changing midwifery laws in NC for the better, forever!

Our own Amy Medwin was arrested last week for helping the families that she loves. She was handcuffed, shackled and hauled off to jail. This is outrageous! Her clients are now faced with the unfortunate task of trying to find new care providers, some within days of their delivery.

We MUST make sure that no other midwife or family has to endure such a horrific ordeal at what should be a happy time of life.

Did you know that YOU are pivotal to this change? Join us on Wednesday, March 2nd in Raleigh for North Carolina Friends of Midwives Birth Freedom March when we show North Carolina lawmakers that we demand Certified Professional Midwives be licensed!

We will meet at the State Capitol (#3 on map) at 10:00 am. We will march at 10:30 am with our signs and banners two blocks over to Halifax Mall (which is the lawn behind the Legislative Building #5 on the map) where we will gather shoulder to shoulder and pause for a moment of silence in honor of our dear midwife Amy Medwin. Afterward we will disperse to meet with our individual representatives.

Anyone arriving in Raleigh after 10:30am please go directly to Halifax Mall. You will find us under the red canopy surrounded by signs from the march. People will be available there if you want a NCFOM leader to accompany you to talk with your representatives. Groups will be arranged there to walk around to the representative offices if you don't have an appointment.

Your mission today is to call your state Representative and Senator and schedule an appointment for Wednesday after 11am. If they are unable to commit to an appointment tell them you are a constituent who will be stopping by. We suggest you print multiple copies of a family photo or a photo of your children and place it in a card or write on the back how important it is to license CPMs in NC. Please give these to your Representative and Senator or their Legislative Assistant.

To find out who your personal representatives are please go to this website:

 

http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/

 

 

Click on  “Who Represents Me?”. Enter your zip code (if you don’t know the entire 9 digits, just click on the link that easily helps you look it up). After you enter your zip code, the page listing your two representatives with their contact information will pop up.


For exact details, what to wear, creating signs, for maps, and directions, please visit our special "at the GA" page on our website.

If you can't join us on the 2nd or if you want to help in other ways you can!

Educate your friends, neighbors and family members on this very important public health issue and ask them to Join NCFOM.

Follow up on NCFOM's Action Alert
Donate to the Amy Medwin Legal Defense Fund
Purchase items from local businesses who are donating proceeds to Amy's Legal Defense Fund 

North Carolina Friends of Midwives - www.ncfom.org - Copyright 2011.

post #20 of 57

 

Quote:
Once midwives in my old state (in which I no longer live anyway) were licensed, the gov't agency that oversaw their licensing began to gradually pass regulations that took away more and more of their ability to make a case-by-case judgment about what clients they'd attend.  They were so scared of losing their license to practice that the health department (which was, obviously, strongly influenced by doctors and not midwives) then allowed the OBs to start to classify what births they thought a midwife should or should not attend, instead of developing a board consisting primarily of midwives to determine the regulations.

 

I would venture to guess that this is because certain things DO carry higher risks. The increase may be small, but it still is an increase. When you have a board of midwives who make all the rules, it becomes very bad for the women they serve. If a midwife has a high risk patient, that patient should be transferred to OB care. Don't people on here say Dr's are for high risk women??

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Welcome to Mothering! › Connect With Other Moms › Moms In Your Area › North and South Carolina and Tennessee › NC Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) ARRESTED!!