I heart midwives!

The Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health sent me a table of contents alert to my email inbox. Wheee!

I was so thrilled to see a progressive editorial (pdf) about supporting abortion choices and performing abortions. I was especially pleased to see the recommendation that “women with limited means should have access to financial resources for their reproductive choices” and that “every woman has the right to access factual, unbiased information about reproductive choices, in order to make an informed decision”.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “I heart midwives!

  1. Pingback: Health Care Reform Begins at Birth | Our Bodies Our Blog

  2. lindyborer

    As a whole-hearted supporter of midwives and midwifery, I would simply caution you (and anyone in the pro-midwifery legislation camp) to avoid linking midwifery and abortion as joint causes. I think it is a grave mistake to use synonymous language between the two issues, as many pro-midwifery supporters and lawmakers are decidedly pro-life (like myself) and would retract that support if abortion and midwifery were inextricably linked.

    If there were a choice between supporting increased legislation for less-restricted childbirth and something to do with “expanded reproductive rights” (relating to abortion) in the same piece of legislation, it wouldn’t do anything to advance the midwifery cause.

    Let’s keep abortion and midwifery as two separate issues, please.

    That said, I respect midwives and what they do. I wouldn’t go to anyone else for care during pregnancy and birth.

    I have written extensively on the topic…www.lindyborer.wordpress.com. Click on “The Female Problem.”

  3. MomTFH

    With all due respect, many people do think the two are intimately linked as the full spectrum of legal reproductive rights. I am happy the journal and the American College of Nurse Midwives took this position. They are supporting medical care above ideology.

    There is a difference between being pro-life personally and being for making all forms of induced abortion illegal, which increases maternal death. If it can be legally and safely performed for any of a variety of reasons, I am for midwives being trained to perform them and licensed to perform them, if that is what they consider to be in their scope of practice. First trimester abortions, which are 95% of abortions, are simple, safe procedures that can easily be done by a midwife.

    All health care providers get to decide what we consider to be ethical practice. Some may refuse to deliver homosexual or transgender patients, some may refuse to perform abortions, some may refuse to attend illegal aliens. Some may refuse to provide birth control.

    Deciding to limit one’s own practice does not give anyone the right to unilaterally remove an issue one personally finds offensive from everyone’s discussion.

  4. Pingback: Midwives and abortion « Mom’s Tinfoil Hat

  5. lindyborer

    I’m not trying to ruffle feathers. In my state, we’re currently attempting to pass legislation that would allow CNMs to practice independently from physicians. (We’re one of only five states where they cannot do so.) To link in any way abortion and pro-midwifery legislation in a legislative bill–or even in the promotion of midwifery or the bill—would be suicide for the legislation, so to speak. That was the point I was making.

    While I strongly disagree with some of your statements, I would like to ask you to clarify one thing for me: What do you think of the Freedom of Choice Act? As you say, “All health care providers get to decide what we consider to be ethical practice.” Yes, good. That is how it should be. All consumers get to choose who will provide their care. Also as it should be. That’s the way the market should and does work.

    If FOCA is passed, it would effectively eliminate this option to pro-life doctors and institutions (like Catholic hospitals.) This would force doctors and hospitals to perform abortions, or close their doors. This doesn’t seem right to me. What is your position? I’m not trying to put anyone on the spot, I would just like your standpoint.

  6. MomTFH

    From what I understand, the Freedom of Choice Act would require Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims, treatment of life threatening emergencies like ectopic pregnancy, and apply in situations such as this. I am sure, as it is in the status quo, individual practitioners will always be able to step aside from certain procedures, regardless of what hospital they work in. (Edit: I was wrong – see the comment below).

    For example, I am opposed to circumcision for non medical reasons. So even if I work in a Jewish hospital, I should be able to refuse to perform one. Patients are able to refuse to circumcise their children. A hospital does not have religious views or rights. Practitioners and patients do.

    I know someone who worked for a Catholic hospital. She had a desired pregnancy and found out the fetus was anencephalic (had no head, pretty much – a severe form of spina bifida). This condition is medically labeled “incompatible with life”, since the fetus cannot survive once born under any circumstances, and usually dies before birth.

    The fetus died in utero and did not pass on its own. Her insurance was pretty much the Catholic hospital where she worked, only. They refused to perform a therapeutic abortion on her. She became septic and almost died. This is not appropriate care. They needed to at least be able to refer her and cover her.

  7. MomTFH

    Here is the text of the Freedom of Choice Act:

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:S.2020:

    It only applies to government entities, not medical facilities. So, a government entity, such as a state legislature, cannot restrict someone from crossing state lines to have an abortion. It does not in any way apply to what any medical practitioner or facility provides or does not provide as health care.

  8. Dee

    To Mom TFH: I would question that a Catholic hospital would refuse to do a D and C procedure on a baby that is already dead, thereby endangering the life of the mother. They maybe did refuse to do an abortion on the baby while it was still living. Are you certain you stated this case correctly?

  9. MomTFH

    It would not be a D and C, because the pregnancy was later term than that. It would be a D and E, most likely.

    I am sure I got the case correctly., In fact, I left out the fact that she had a recurrence of this with her next pregnancy and they refused AGAIN even knowing the history of the sepsis last time.

    I don’t see how you can question how accurate I am stating a case I am familiar with if you are guessing possible alternatives when you are completely unfamiliar with the case.

  10. Dee

    Sorry. I did not know how far along she was. Yes, an extraction. What I found confounding was that a Catholic hospital would be so negligent in protecting the life of the mother. What you stated that happened would therefore be negligence on the part of the medical personnel and should not insinuate that this is what the Catholic church would condone.

  11. MomTFH

    Here is a good article written by a physician about how the reality of refusal works:

    http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/12/22/hhs-rule-out-touch-with-medical-reality

    Health care practitioners do refuse to provide care, even in cases where the woman’s life is in danger. What’s more is that they are accommodated, and the HHS could not even provide ONE case of someone being forced to do a procedure against his or her will as they push for more conscience clauses.

    An attending ob/gyn from the largest public hospital in Miami Dade told our med school’s ob/gyn interest group that she considered herself to be pro-life, and refused to be trained on any abortive procedures. She was devastated to be in the hospital one night when a woman almost died from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. She didn’t know what to do. She had to call an attending who was not on that night to come in and save her life.

    Planned Parenthood International did a presentation at our school. In many countries in which abortion is illegal, women are left to die when situations like ruptured ectopics happen. Ectopics are rarely ever viable pregnancies. This is supported by the Catholic church:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/oct/08/health.lifeandhealth

    Doctors are not trained to take care of such situations, and are afraid to be arrested, fined, or risk their license saving women’s lives. Abortions do not decrease in these countries, they actually are estimated to increase, since the same cultural environment that outlaws abortion also restricts or discourages contraception.

  12. Pingback: Another reply turned post « Mom’s Tinfoil Hat

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