Dear Friends of Wabash Valley Midwifery and midwifery consumers:
Call to action! Join us as we Walk for Moms and Midwives, nationwide, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010
We’re saddened to hear that you’re losing your only option for midwifery care. We want you to know that you’re not alone. Just over a year ago we experienced the loss of our midwives and felt that this injustice must not go unanswered. We decided to do something about it, just like you have. At the time we were outraged, thinking that this would be the start of a revolution. We thought that this was the first time that midwives had been fired like this, and that when people found out about it, they too would be outraged. Sadly, we discovered over time that this type of incident has been happening throughout the United States for at least twenty five years.
Once we made this discovery, we tried to reach out to other communities to no avail. We were also told by the ACNM that no one was keeping track of these events. We had no way of figuring out how to proceed, no consumer advocacy group to turn to for advice. Midwives have to collaborate with physicians, so generally, they don’t fight back because they don’t want to rock the boat. Understandably they move on to the next job. What about the mommies?
Right now, while health care reform is a hot topic we need to discuss the role of the provider. Giving everyone insurance isn’t going to solve the problem if consumers can’t have access to the providers of their choice. The medical lobby is incredibly powerful. It has deep pockets. It wants all citizens to use physicians rather than other providers for their health care. This is restraint of trade. We found out that in 2003, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission were investigating these incidents for this exact reason. ALL midwives are being marginalized. Although midwives are gaining ground in some communities, in others, their trade continues to be restricted.
We will not be a commodity. Our bodies, our births, and our babies are not the sites on which special interests will fight for their own economic gain. As consumers we will push back against special interests that would restrict our ability to access our providers of choice. We will continue to stand up to this oppression. We are asking all families who have experienced the care of a midwife (whatever their credentials) to join us on Saturday, October 9, 2010 during National Midwifery Week to Walk for Moms and Midwives. We will be tracking national events on Facebook. We encourage you to:
a) Get a group of women together, however small or large;
b) Find a public place;
c) Let your message be known: i.e. take signs and/or wear t-shirts that promote midwifery care;
d) Walk. No, wait, let’s MARCH for mothers, babies, and midwives. This is grassroots activism at its best;
e) Make sure to contact the media and let them know what you’re doing;
f) Take pictures or video your group at your event. Send pictures, and links to your youtube videos (remember must be under 10 minutes) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s show the nation that we won’t take birth lying down.
With love and sisterhood,
Where’s My Midwife?