How do MANA homebirth midwives demonstrate their contempt for accountability? Let me count the ways.

A new post from Magnus Snyder’s mother Sara got me thinking about the many ways that MANA (the Midwives Alliance of North America) demonstrates their contempt for accountability. Sara pointed out two egregrious examples:

1, Instead of investigating a midwife who presided over preventable neonatal deaths, MANA promoted her:

it should be dually noted that none other than Clarice Winkler, CNM from Greenhouse Birth Center is named as the Program Chair for MANA.  Never mind criminal investigation, state investigation, multiple deaths, previous sanctions, and multiple bankruptcies…why not give her a position of leadership at MANA?

2. Instead of investigating The Greenhouse Birth Center in the wake of several neonatal deaths, the President of MANA offered her complete support:

… MANA’s Executive Director, is Geardine Simkins, CNM, MSN, and Michigan midwife.  I don’t know much about Ms. Simkins, other than the fact that she has been very supportive of the Greenhouse midwives, even backing them up at times when they overbooked.  I also know she supports licensing for CPMs, and actively serves as an executive for the organization that issued this newsletter.  I have to say, I’m enormously disappointed with MANA, NARM, and any affiliate who would let tremendous concerns for safety in our state go without adequate response, and course of action to improve.  If this newsletter represents the position of MANA as a whole, then I am gravely concerned about the leadership running this organization.

3. As I’ve written repeatedly. MANA refuses to release its own death rates from the 27,000+ planned homebirths in its database. While publicly declaiming on the importance of informed consent for homebirth, MANA is hiding the most important piece of information necessary for informed consent.

4. Though the MANA leadership disingenuously claims that licensing homebirth midwives will provide accountability, MANA leaders like Melissa Cheyney, Head of the Board of Direct Entry Midwifery in Oregon, are publicly opposed to any requirements for becoming a homebirth midwife, let alone oversight of homebirth midwives’ practice.

5. MANA has made no attempt to investigate the appalling homebirth mortality rate of licensed Colorado homebirth midwives. The death rate keeps rising and MANA keeps ignoring the deaths.

6. Though homebirth midwives in North Carolina are not licensed by the state, most are credentialed by MANA. Nonetheless, there has been no attempt by MANA to investigate the extraordinary number of neonatal deaths that have occurred at the hands of North Carolina CPMs.

7. MANA has taken no action in against mother and daughter Idaho CPMs who have presided over 5 separate homebirth disasters and face a $5 million dollar judgment against them.

MANA clearly does not care whether babies delivered by homebirth midwives survive. I’m not aware of any actions they have taken to investigate homebirth deaths, let alone to hold the midwives involved responsible.

Of course I would be very happy to be corrected. If the leadership of MANA wants to present any evidence that they have held anyone accountable for the dozens of homebirth deaths that I have reported on this blog, I will gladly publish the documentation.

My late father taught me that if you want to know what people really believe, don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do.

The leadership of MANA says that they favor accountability and that they care about making homebirth safe, yet so far as I can tell, not only have they done NOTHING to hold homebirth midwives accountable for deaths or to implement standards that would make homebirth safer, they have actively opposed any efforts by others to hold homebirth midwives accountable or implement safety standards

As long as MANA promotes midwives instead of investigating them in the wake of homebirth deaths. as long as they ignore horrific homebirth deaths rates in states such as those in Colorado and North Carolina, as long as they refuse to release their own death rates, they demonstrate not only their contempt for accountability, but their contempt for the value of the babies who died and their contempt for the families who have suffered terribly because of these deaths.

Simply put, MANA heartlessly promotes the interests of homebirth midwives above the safety of homebirth babies.


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