Can’t rebut the facts about homebirth deaths? Smear the messenger.


Some days it’s harder than others to get out the message that homebirth kills babies who didn’t have to die. And some days, like today, it’s so easy that it’s like a battle of wits against unarmed opponents.

Consider this gem found on Jan Tritten’s Facebook page:


You remember Jan, don’t you? She’s the Editor of Midwifery Today and she crowd sourced a life or death decision for a 42+ week baby with no amniotic fluid on ultrasound while the baby died.

She republished the post from Elizabeth Wyson Camp Smith above after it was submitted to her wall.

The money quotes?

I am wondering if anyone has thought of defending ourselves against a ‘certain’ blogging OB’s attacks with strategies I learned in Jr. High School Chess Club? “Never retreat when you can counter attack.”


I am not usually in favor of attacking another human being, but isn’t anyone who steps on a political platform kind of asking for it?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Elizabeth’s chess career ended in junior high school, since she obviously did not understand what she was told. Let me explain it to Elizabeth in small words that she can understand:

Elizabeth, when they told you to counterattack they meant with chess moves, not by smearing the other little chess player. That’s because to win a chess game, you have to actually play chess. You don’t win if you make up lies about the other players.

Now, Elizabeth let’s extrapolate (sorry, that’s a big word) figure out what that means in this situation. It means that if you want to defend yourself against my claims that homebirth kills babies who didn’t have to die, and that homebirth midwives are dangerous laypeople who made up a pretend “midwifery” credential and awarded it to themselves, you need to rebut (sorry, another big word) show that those claims are untrue.

It does not mean, as you apparently think it does, that you should smear me. When you do that, it’s like you are smearing the other chess player and you can never win that way. In fact, you would probably be disqualified (oh, dear, another big word) lose and maybe even get thrown out of the match.

It’s hard for me to figure out who is the bigger dope here, Elizabeth, who doesn’t appear to have the reasoning capacity to care for a house plant, or Jan Tritten, who just keeps making a bigger fool of herself as time goes by.

The bottom line, though, is easy to figure out. Neither Elizabeth nor Jan can summon any evidence that homebirth is safe, and any evidence that homebirth midwives are anything other than ignorant and dangerous. They no longer even try. They have reached the point of desperation where it seems easier to them to try to discredit me than to discredit my factual claims.