As the author Stephen King once explained:
The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool.
If anyone ought to know, it’s the folks at the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), the organization that represents homebirth midwives.
Apparently emboldened by the fact that journalists have not questioned their lie that their paper shows homebirth is safe when it actually shows homebirth to have a death rate 450% higher than hospital birth, they are now telling more lies to defend the paper.
The new lies are from their latest blog post Homebirth Research Q & A.
According to the folks at MANA:
Why doesn’t the Cheyney study compare home birth to hospital birth mortality rates?
It makes sense to want to draw these comparisons. However, hospital rates in the U.S. are derived from vital statistics data (birth certificates and/or death certificates). A number of organizations, including the American College of Nurse Midwives and Citizens for Midwifery have spelled out the limitations, which include a failure to capture the intended place of birth and inaccurate reporting of some outcomes.
That is nothing but a lie.
Where does this supposedly inaccurate hospital data comes from? It comes from the linked birth-infant death files of the CDC (publicly available at the CDC Wonder website). MANA and ACNM insist that birth certificates are unreliable for both place of birth and outcomes. Since 2003, birth certificates have included a question about intended place of birth. Moreover, birth certificates must legally be signed by the person who delivered the baby. If a homebirth midwife delivered the baby, then the birth was a planned homebirth. There is simply no question about that.
As far as outcomes are concerned, the linked birth-infant death files are highly reliable because they cross reference both birth and death certificates. There is simply no question that when a death certificate exists for an infant, that infant has died, and it is simply ludicrous to claim otherwise.
But what may be a more compelling refutation is that both the ACNM and MANA have publicly promoted other studies that were based on THE EXACT SAME DATA.
For example,a press release from September 2013 touting a study that showed an increase rate of homebirth in the US, the ACNM explained:
Analyzing national birth certificate data from 2004 to 2010, the report authors Marian MacDorman, PhD, Eugene Declercq, PhD, and T.J. Mathews, MS, found a 41% increase in the proportion of home births and a 43% increase in birth center births, with 10% of the home birth rise and 14% of the birth center rise occurring within the last year.”
The birth certificate data was apparently reliable then.
MANA frequently bewails the US infant mortality statistics. Wendy Gordon, CPM did so in a MANA bulletin of May 2013. Writing in the Huffington Post, MANA Director of Research Melissa Cheyney spoke disparangingly of the US infant mortality. Where do those statistics come from? You guessed it, the same CDC data that MANA is now disparaging.
Indeed, MANA and the ACNM have repeatedly quoted the CDC data, and never questioned it … right up until I pointed out that the CDC mortality rates are far lower than those quoted by MANA.
The CDC linked birth-infant death data set is the benchmark for infant and neonatal mortality in the US. No one, let alone the ACNM or MANA, has previously questioned the validity of the data. There is no remotely plausible scientific reason for not comparing MANA mortality rates to the CDC data. But Cheyney and MANA refused to compare their death rates to the CDC hospital rates because the MANA mortality rate is hideous in comparison.
Both MANA and the ACNM are lying about the validity of the CDC database, a database they have repeatedly quoted, because that’s the only way to convince the innocent that the MANA death rates are anything other than deplorable. Their behavior is self-serving, unethical and immoral, but apparently for them, anything that might increase their market share is allowed.