Wednesday, May 19, 2010

To all Oregon mothers!

(eta: See my post on clarification of this issue here)

We need EVERYONE in Oregon to write letters in support of keeping birth choices open for birthing families!

The Board of Direct Entry Midwifery is currently reevaluating our current rules and regulations, reconsidering what should be considered an 'absolute risk factor' and what should risk women out of the care of an licensed midwife/out-of-hospital birth. This is taking choice out of the consumer's (YOU) hands and they need to hear from you!

The things that they are focusing on are:

POSTDATES
TWINS
VBACs
BREECH

There are board meetings being held on each of these topics (some of which the dates have already passed). Upcoming meetings can be found here and are as follows:

June 2, 2010, 9am , topic: BREECH and TWINS
ODVA Auditorium, 700 Summer Street NE, First Floor, Salem, OR

June 16, 2010, 9am , topic: VBAC and POSTDATES
ODVA Auditorium, 700 Summer Street NE, First Floor, Salem, OR

August 5, 2010, 9am , topic: TBA
Rhoades Conference Room, 700 Summer Street NE, Third Floor

August 12, 2010, 9am , topic: TBA
Rhoades Conference Room, 700 Summer Street NE, Third Floor

These meetings are open to the public, but there won't be time for public comment. (Because why would they want public comment when they are working on rules to protect the public, right? ). Even so, your presence is needed! Please attend, and show your support for birthing choices in Oregon. (when you sign in, you can write "Support Birth Freedom!" or something similar). You don't have to stay for the entire meeting, and you don't have to be there right when it starts. Even if you can only come for one hour, please do!

Since there are no times for public comment, we need to FLOOD their mailboxes with letters in support of women having the choice to choose where and how they give birth. Email letters to samie.patnode@state.or.us or snail mail to Oregon Health Licensing Agency (OHLA), Attn. Samie Patnode, 700 Summer St. NE, Suite 320, Salem, Oregon 97301-1287

Speaking as a birthing woman, I am highly insulted the the state is trying to tell me what is safe and what is not safe when I give birth. A mother is of course still be able to stay home alone if her midwife has to risk her out and discontinue care, but no woman should choose unassisted birth because she is backed into a corner!!

Many of you are aware of the lovely law in Oregon that allows midwives to be unlicensed if they choose. However, our voluntary licensure law is ALSO at risk. While there are many who are under the false assumption that licensed midwifery is safer midwifery, this couldn't be further from the truth. What mandatory licensing does is LIMIT choice for families.

More than ever before, we need the state of Oregon to hear from the consumer of midwifery care (birthing families...YOU!!!) that you won't stand for your choices being limited and restricted!! Please write and come to the meetings!!

To summarize, here are the main points that your letters should include:

  • keep our rules and protocols as they are!
  • allow women to choose for themselves once they have been given informed choice! (women are smart enough!)
  • support voluntary licensure!
If you have never had a breech baby, or aren't planning a VBAC, or never go past your due date, or have unassisted births and don't utilize midwives, please don't think that this won't affect you. It does. It will have far reaching effects for all women planning out-of-hospital births. Please act. Please make your voice heard and pass the word on!

4 comments :

Luna Momma said...

just wrote my letter to "the man" and hopefully it will make a difference. Thanks for all of your hard work!

2+some Dearborns said...

Thank you for raising awareness! I plan on attending the meetings... I have marked my calendar and will write letters! Thank you again!!
~Cindy

Radical Midwife said...

Yay!! Thanks to you both!!

Martha said...

Ah gee I'm sorry to hear you're fighting this same fight as are we in Australia. Human rights, bodily autonomy, it's all we want.
Janet