I don't see how using an underground mw is worse than uc (and i am a ucer.) Just because UC is not "illegal"? Don't women realize that whatever type of midwifery/hb in their state is illegal? Are illegal mws trying to pass off as legal? I was under the impression it was fairly difficult to find these ladies. If you are going to choose whatever hcp for your birth, you are responsible for knowing what their deal is. Do people not ask about transfer situations while interviewing mws? If you are worried that your mw is not experienced or going to mismanage your labor to cover her own ass... why go that route? I don't see a problem with women using a mw who they are comfortable with, and it is their responsibility to know about the situation. I think some of these laws are totally arbitrary (and hard/unlikely to change)... 5 miles away the mw could be totally legal but cross state lines, and no? and that makes her less of a mw?
I don't know, I kinda view this situation as say having a uc, and asking a friend/family member to be there with you, maybe someone who has some medical/birth experience... if you transfer are they going to let friend stay with you or inform dr. about your labor? would you let that person tell you to go to a hospital further away? I guess women who go with underground mws just have some more responsibility to learn about birth/legalities/transfer situation, and be more proactive about their situation. If they can't do that, or don't want to, they probably shouldn't go with an underground mw.
I don't think things change from "right" to "wrong" just because one state decides to legislate it that way. But probably my perspective is way skewed...
I live in a different country (with huge c/s rates). I uc'ed, and knew that if I transferred I would be met with hostility and automatic c/s. If I had a mw, who are legal here, she would have been physically barred from hospital, (of note, many cb educators are also banned from private hospitals here... even the ones teaching vag birth with epidural). I uc'ed because that's what I wanted, and I didn't find a mw I was happy with. In this country, homeschooling is illegal. I can't do so because I would face fine/jail time if found out, (not that I'm sure I would even want to hs). Does that mean hsing is wrong? I know there are some activists here who hs anyway and get thrown in jail... but that's on them right? are they really "wrong"?