Ohio Homebirth Family Being Criminally Prosecuted - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 09-01-2009, 01:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Just released from Ohio Families for Safe Birth:

A family in the Dayton area is entangled in a criminal prosecution as a result of their homebirth. Nine weeks ago, the Levier family welcomed their second child to the world at home with the assistance of a midwife. He was born safe and sound. A few hours later, they were a bit concerned about mom so they made the decision to call 911 just to be safe.

In Montgomery County, whenever 911 is called and a child is involved, the police show up as well. The EMTs insisted that the newborn baby needed immediate medical attention (despite being perfectly happy and healthy) so mom and baby transported in the ambulance and baby was monitored for a while to confirm his good health. Meanwhile the police further investigated, taking statements from Dad and the midwife, who identified herself as a doula.

Six weeks later, the Levier family was given a summons to appear in court regarding charges of child endangerment. Both parents have been charged and arraigned. The next legal step is in late September. Their attorney hopes to have the charges dismissed, but in the meantime, they are facing the expenses of attorney's fees for representing BOTH of them while dad's work schedule has been drastically reduced for September.

The family has given me permission to share this news with you and I thought it important for these reasons:

1. To offer financial support. I don't want to violate the TOS here on MDC, so I removed the rest of that point.

2. To let families know about another way the law may be used against them regarding homebirth. Even if the charges are dismissed, it will have been 12+ weeks of anxiety, worry and expense for the Leviers. Many have had the experience of being hassled by Child Protective Services, but this is a criminal proceeding!. We have believed that while midwives are at risk for prosecution, families were not. This is a distressing development to say the least.

3. To share another real life example of why Ohio Families for Safe Birth believes that having licensed midwives is important for both families and midwives. If this family's choice of care provider and location for birth were legally recognized, we don't believe they would be in this situation.

Thank you, in advance, for you support of the Levier family. It is greatly appreciated.
Stephanie Beck Borden
Chair, Ohio Families for Safe Birth

Ohio families deserve access to licensed midwives. www.safebirthohio.org
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#2 of 10 Old 09-01-2009, 12:15 PM
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We are putting together "The Mother of All Garage Sales" on September 19th to raise some much-needed funds for this family to help them defray their legal fees.

If you would like to do something, you sure can! These are the ways you can help out with this fundraiser:
1) Donate larger items to the sale. We ask that you only donate larger items in clean, sellable condition with a price tag and that you get them to the sale site (in Kettering).
2) Donate some "sweat equity" by coming to help with cleaning, organizing, tagging, monitoring the day of the sale, etc.
3) Bake your most delicious goody to sell on the Bake Sale table at the yard sale.

If you would like to get involved, please email aprilakline@gmail.com. This is at least a small way we can help this family. Thanks!
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#3 of 10 Old 09-01-2009, 10:46 PM
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Wow, I had no idea! We'll do what we can to help!

Gina ~
mommy to E & K and #3 due 7/2011homebirth.jpg
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#4 of 10 Old 09-01-2009, 10:52 PM
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Where is the garage sell going to be located?
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#5 of 10 Old 09-02-2009, 01:39 AM
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I can probably bake some things and maybe help out at the sale.

Erin~ Mommy to 3 curly-headed children and expecting #4 in December. ***4***8***12**
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#6 of 10 Old 09-02-2009, 09:35 AM
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My midwife told me about this yesterday. She has been on many boards for many years trying to get Ohio to wake up and smell the coffee!

They are trailblazers standing up for what is right and normal. I wish them so well.

Mama to 4. winner.jpghomebirth.jpg
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#7 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 03:30 PM
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I've heard about this as well. How appalling!

Is anyone from the Cincinnati area hoping to make baked goods or donate? I can't get items up to Kettering in the next two weeks but could give them to someone else that's driving up.

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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#8 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 05:00 PM
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This is so disturbing. I just had my second baby at home in Newark Ohio a few weeks ago. I can't imagine what I would do if something like that happened to my family. What kind of a country do we live in when our most basic rights are in such danger? I cannot offer financial support to this family right now and I live too far away to bring donations to the yard sale. Is there anything else I could do to help? Is there anyone I could call or write a letter to?

Bethany ~ Mama of two wonderful boys ♥ ♥  Wife to one amazing man ♥

Massage Therapist ~ Doula ~ Student Midwife

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#9 of 10 Old 09-03-2009, 07:42 PM
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I am on several places where this has been posted, they are even saying if you can just give $5, or if you have gift cards that you are not using...anything to help them with cost of living, as right now legal fees are expected to be several thousand $$. I will say that average hourly rates in this area are $250-$300 for an attorney in a big firm, and less if in private practice (but not much less).
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#10 of 10 Old 09-08-2009, 11:02 PM
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Look up who your representatives are and write them letters, make appointments to speak with them, take your homebirthed babies into them! There is going to be a meeting on Advocacy in Columbus this Saturday afternoon at Whetstone Park, at 3:30pm. Come if you can!
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