It’s almost as if homebirth advocates are trying to advertise their moral bankruptcy. They couldn’t care less how many babies die at homebirth, why they die at homebirth and who pretends to be a midwife.
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised since this is a crowd that has spent years desperately hiding (or when exposed, ignoring) the hideous homebirth deaths rates in Oregon, Colorado and in MANA’s own database. Homebirth midwives have always valued their freedom to “practice” over the lives of innocent children, but this is a new low, even for them.
I’m referring of course to the case of Rowan Bailey. She allegedly represented herself as a licensed midwife even though she uncredentialed and unlicensed. She has been jailed for allegedly presiding over an intrapartum death at homebirth that occurred in July. *Initially it appeared that she allegedly presided over a second intrapartum death in February, but the newspaper has issued a correction stating that the death occurred in July and was reported to the police by the State Medical Board on February 7. In addition, she was arrested last month for prostitution. What are other homebirth midwives doing in response? They’re raising money to “free” her, of course.
Over they years I have written about dozens of preventable homebirth deaths involving mind boggling incompetence on the part of homebirth midwives. Inevitably homebirth advocates parachute in to the blog to insist that the midwife in question was a “rogue” midwife and not representative of homebirth midwives as a group. It appears that you cannot be more of a “rogue”than Rowan Bailey, yet I have seen no midwifery organization, no midwives and no “birth workers” of any kind calling for her to be investigated, and if warranted, held accountable for malpractice.
Quite the opposite, in fact. A fundraising campaign has been launched on her behalf:
Wednesday, March 27, 2013, a friend, teacher, mentor, and fellow midwife, Rowan Bailey, as we know and love her was arrested for murder in Asheville, NC. North Carolina prohibits the practice of midwifery by traditional community midwives and CPM’s
In case you were wondering, they couldn’t care less what she did, who was hurt, and whether her actions led to the deaths:
At this time, the details of the case are not available until we have more input from Rowan’s attorney.
It doesn’t matter what happened. All that matters is the issue of human rights:
The way we birth is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue and we must embrace it with compassion, love, and responsibility.
Wrong! The right of a baby who begins labor alive to be born alive may be a human right. There is no human right to represent yourself as a midwife when you are uncredentialed and unlicensed. There is no human right to get your birth junkie fix while letting babies suffocate to death. There is no human right to escape accountability for actions that hurt others. It is morally grotesque to pretend that there are any such human rights.
Bailey has no shortage of supporters. Here’s a look at the Twitter feed soliciting support:
The behavior of these supporters is nothing short of disgusting. They’re raising money to “free” an uncredentialed, unlicensed “midwife” who is charged with misrepresenting her qualifications to parents, presiding over a homebirth death, and who was arrested for prostitution, without making an attempt at, indeed without even calling for an investigation of any kind. Why? Because they think their “freedom” to entertain themselves at births and get paid for it is more important than whether babies live or die.
We can thank these supporters for one thing, though. They have made it crystal clear that they are morally reprehensible in addition to being unfit to care for pregnant women. Rowan Bailey is an object lesson in why North Carolina should never license homebirth midwives. They are ignorant, dangerous and utterly unconcerned about whether babies live or die.
Bailey’s supporters should be ashamed of themselves, but that’s not likely. If you’re willing to ignore dead babies, then you’ve already broadcast the fact that you have no shame.