As some of you have heard, on March 14, 2007, agents from the
California Medical Board and the Los Angeles County Sheriffs
department stormed into our office to serve a search warrant and
arrest Marcia for practicing medicine without a license. They came
in unannounced, with guns drawn. We had two couples and their babies
in the office at the time for their baby weight checks. Eventually
both of those couple, a lady who was there for a tour and Mary(
Marcia's assistant) were allowed to leave. Marcia was detained in Ventura
and released on bail late that night. A couple dozen of our patient charts
were seized along with our scheduling book.
This raid is a culmination of the efforts of Simi Valley Hospital,
using both the Medical Board and the Nursing Board, to close our
office. As many of you know, every single transfer that had been
made to Simi Valley Hospital , regardless of circumstances or outcome
has been reported to both boards as Marcia's Nurse Practitioner
License is under the jurisdiction of the Nursing Board and the
Licensed Midwifery License is under the Medical Board. The latest
hearing with the Nursing Board was on March 13th, with a decision
expected to be delivered within 5 days. At the hearing for the Medical
Board on March 1st, Marcia agreed not to deliver any babies, an
agreement that she has not broken. At no time was she told that she
was not allowed to be on the premises, to be in contact with her
patients or to provide non-medical support care. All conditions that
she believed, until yesterday, to be met. We have been making an
effort to contact all of you and let you
know what is going on but at this point it is slow going – it is a
story that takes a little telling. This is what we can tell you right
now. As of yesterday, Marcia is no longer seeing patients at all,
until the resolution of the Medical Board issues and their
allegations. We will make every effort to find you alternative care
and, as copies of most of our charts have been returned, to provide
you with those records for continuity of care and to make this
difficult transition smoother. Our phones, as always when no one is in
the office, forward to either Marcia's or Mary's cell phone. We will
also try and keep everyone updated via e-mail as the situation
develops. It is our sincere hope that this situation will resolve
itself quickly and Marcia will be able to go back to doing what she
does best, helping women achieve good health and bringing healthy
babies into the world.
Many of you have asked what you can do to help. Letters to the
Medical Board are wonderful. Complaints are wonderful. If you are
writing a powerful letter that you would like to be used in court,
you must sign it (for authenticity purposes) and mail to the address
below. Her hearing before the Medical Board is on March 20th
however at this point, it looks like it will be a conference call, not
a physical hearing. If this changes we will let you know. If you are
able or inclined, there is a tax deductible
charity for monetary donations to help with the legal costs. Donations
can be sent to:
THE MIDWIFE DEFENSE FUND
Attn: Mary Price
PO Box 940682
Simi Valley , CA 93094-0682
It is her hope that this fund will be able to help not only our
fight here in Simi Valley but midwives across the country, who find
themselves, in similar situations. Unfortunately, it costs nothing
fora hospital to put a claim against a midwife's license but it does
cost a lot to defend it. Words cannot express how much the love and
support has meant to us in the last few days. We have already received
so much support from patients, fellow midwives, doctors (not from Simi
Valley , of course), doulas and childbirth educators.
Latest update from Marcia's husband via
Most of you know by now the utter terror Marcia is going through at
the hands of Simi Valley Hospital, the California Medical Board, the
Board of Registered Nursing and the Los Angeles Attorney General's
office (who are the legal reps for the Med Board and the BRN).
For some reason, the AG confused The Whole Woman, Inc. - Women's
Health and Natural Birth Center in located Simi Valley - with an
illegal abortion clinic somewhere behind a derelict warehouse in the
crudest part of Los Angeles. Clearly, The Whole Woman, Inc. needed to
be stormed with guns drawn. Or maybe it was just easier to hold a
single woman hostage in the "safest city in America" than do their
real job of taking down illegal clinics and doctors in seedy parts of
L.A. Or maybe they just wanted to rattle Marcia's cage, notch another
win and move up their own political ladders.
The word of this atrocity needs to spread - and fast. This is
obviously one woman's battle against corporate medicine over who has
the right to determine how a woman gives birth: The woman herself or
bottom line shareholders looking for a dividend.
If any of you have any connections, however big or small, to news
magazine or talk shows such as Dateline, 20/20, Primetime, Nightline,
Oprah, etc. please contact me immediately. I have already made
inquiries through their normal public channels, but obviously someone
knowing someone stands a better chance of being heard.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Free country my ***. This is soooo wrong and infuriating!
I can't imagine not having her available for my next pregnancy!
bump ... so interesting ... GO MARCIA!
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