Holly Richardson responds

Holly Richardson left some comments on my last piece about her. Lets get the easy stuff out of the way, by disproving this bit that Holly said:

And ps: I have not hosted a “midwifery meeting” in almost 10 years. Your “facts” are, in fact, wrong.

holly gave presentationwhoops July 2013 was last year, not ten years ago.  I have my own copy of the audio from the meeting from before UMO made their page private, I will upload it soon. Now that thats out of the way, we can move onto the comments with some meat to them:

While I’m flattered you want to highlight my campaign, your anti-midwife agenda will get you nowhere in this state.

I am not anti-midwife, I am anti-unaccountable medical practitioners. I am sure that the majority of people in utah are.

And really, you have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to Utah law, the process we went through, or the mood on the Hill.

Holly does not cite the portion of the law that would prove me wrong or tell me exactly where I made an error, I am very interested in knowing where I made a mistake. I will correct it if it is demonstrated to me.

Sadly, you’re not even brave enough to use your real name to attack political candidates.

I don’t use my real name because I blog about my abuse history, and it is humiliating to me to have anyone googling my name find out that it happened to me. Newspapers use this same standard in their reporting, and it is reasonable.

 I am proud of my work on behalf of midwives in this state. We have a long history of safe midwifery care.

I linked to several stories of extremely dangerous breech, vbac, and twin births being presided over by utah midwives. Holly is already aware of how unsafe Valerie El Halta’s practices were, because they killed someone who did not have to die.

Dr Amy Tueter has a saying about home birth babies that die- they are buried twice. Once in the ground, and again by midwives and their advocates who don’t want the public to know about them. This is a prime example of being buried twice, pretending that there is a long history of ‘safe midwifery care’ when there was at least one high profile case of extreme negligence in the past two years. I am joining the skeptical OB in using the #notburiedtwice hashtag on twitter to make sure that these babies did not die in vain.

For those who practice outside their scope, there already are safeguards in place.

Oh really? Where were those safegaurds when I was pregnant, and my midwife lied to me about her qualifications and practices? Because I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, for over a year to get something done about the midwife I had that acted outside of her scope and abused me during my labor. If there is some resource I am missing I am very interested in hearing about it, but so far I’ve tried the owner of the birth center where the midwife worked (who blamed me for what happened), DOPL (can’t do anything about unlicensed people), the police (do not know what to charge someone with who pretends to be licensed but isn’t, do not have enough evidence to go to the DA with my other claims), Utah Midwives Organization (who I had to pester to get a response and ultimately rallied behind the midwife that abused me),  and the Midwives College of Utah (who are putting a note in that birth center’s file for later- no idea what that actually accomplishes). Nothing was done. Valerie El Halta made the ultimate mistake, one that killed someone, and she got probation and a ban from attending other births in the state. She will probably just move again to another state where midwives can get away with being unlicensed.

We are a right-to-work state and we are predominately Republican, which means we believe in limited government and in people’s right to make decisions for themselves and their families – and those include healthcare decisions.

I am pretty sure that republicans also believe that little babies should not be killed because of their parents choices, right? Or are republicans pro-choice now? Because what I see is a lot of babies being sacrificed to letting parents decide to birth out of hospital, and in fact the states with the most restrictions on home birth are predominantly republican.

Although you refuse to use your real name, I am quite certain that you were never a part of the discussions to legalize midwifery in Utah, nor have you ever been involved in lobbying. It’s evident that it is difficult for you to read and understand the Utah code but I assure you, there are consequences for those midwives who practice outside their scope.

Once again, the consequences are not named and law isn’t cited, and I have first hand experience in trying to get something done about this and there isn’t any real consequence for midwives. There just isn’t. I am eager to learn of any new avenue for getting my situation resolved.

Believe it or not, midwifery is not my primary interest in running for office. It’s education and the economy.

It should be your primary interest because the state of midwifery in Utah is appalling and you had a hand in it. Take some responsibility and pledge to fix the law. I’m not going to stop my exposure of the deplorable practices of utah midwives in response to negligence.

You all are just one more tragedy away from this whole thing blowing up again. I can wait, but I wish I didn’t have to, I wish that someone with the power to change things before they get out of hand would do so.


7 thoughts on “Holly Richardson responds

  1. On the Valerie El Halta case, Holly was quoted as saying, “If these allegations are true, that she was using a vacuum extractor at home . . .” And what follows the “if” in this if/then statement? A consequence? A punishment? No. She says, “there’s no midwife anywhere in the country that would use a vacuum extractor. It’s totally inappropriate.” OK then. Now we know that if a midwife acts “out of her scope,” she’ll have the tsk-tsking of Holly Richardson to face.

    “All the midwives I personally have ever worked with or know would have said, ‘I cannot take you as a client. You are too high risk.’” So is that the standard that Holly keeps referring to? All the midwives I know wouldn’t do that, so that won’t happen. The question Holly keeps avoiding is, what legal measure prevents a midwife from accepting a patient who is too high risk? If El Halta had been licensed, what “standard” would have prevented her from accepting this patient?

    My favorite quote from the Deseret News story is when Holly said that midwife births “are typically very natural.” The problem is that babies don’t always get the memo that their birth is supposed to be typical. Placentas don’t know that they’re not supposed to detach prematurely since the birth attendant doesn’t have the expertise to deal with them. Uteri don’t know they shouldn’t rupture since the home is not equipped with a blood bank or an OR.

    What any home birth tragedies have to do with “the mood on the Hill” is beyond me.

    • I think Holly is assuming that I have some kind of political aspirations or something, but I don’t. I just don’t want anyone else to suffer at the hands of an unlicensed midwife.

      The thing about El Halta is that her NARM certification was revoked- an impressive feat, since NARM is notorious for dodging loss moms and other complaints, and it takes a minimum of two complaints before NARM’s accountability department will revoke someones certification. She would have a heck of a time getting licensed anywhere because of that.

  2. You know I sometimes am astounded by people who think that the only way to have a baby is in a hospital with sick people. Women have had babies at home for centuries with midwifes. It seems the human race did just fine. I have done both and would not go to the hospital less it was needed. Most midwifes who help women who have MADE THE CHOICE to give birth at home are very well trained and know when transport them. It further amazes me that tons of women can chose to have an abortion because “its my body” with very little fall out from the medical community but if a woman chooses to give birth at home with a woman or group of women who she feels confident in someone has to always create mischief. I say back off if you find a woman who is seriously neglectful great make a list and why and post it but you dont need to go bashing the whole institution. Also there are many studies that prove that homebirth is just as safe or safer then hospital birth. We dont live in the dark ages with no speedy transport or live gazillion of miles away from hospitals. I have confidence in my midwives to know when I need to be transported and they have partner Doctors who can do csections in under 5 minutes if needed. Also a key note to think on is that midwives spend alot of hours with you during a birth. Whereas Doctors spend 30 min or less with the mother at the hospital and frequently do not check you themselves when you are laboring till right before the baby is about to comes. Limiting the opportunity to observe any potential dangers and fix them before emergency csections become needed.

    • You don’t seem to understand the problem very well. Perhaps you should check out the ‘about’ page before leaving bizarre rants about how great home birth is on this blog. I don’t care if you want to home birth. I care that the state is giving a free pass to charlatans to prey on vulnerable women with zero accountability for their patient outcomes. I care that there is no real recourse for women who have been lied to by their midwives. I care that midwives protect each other instead of calling out dangerous practices. I’ve documented this trend extensively- its the norm in Utah Midwifery, not the exception.

  3. Pingback: midwives don’t mind breaking the law- and Holly Richardson knows that | Safer Midwifery in Utah

  4. Pingback: Vickie Sorensen’s victims should not be buried twice | Safer Midwifery in Utah

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