I was alerted to a NARM article featuring a prominent Utah Midwife (Suzanne Smith, LDEM) around the time the Direct Entry Midwifery Act went through (the article is from 2004, the law went through in 2005). It has some interesting insight into what prominent members of Utah’s midwifery community thinks about the law (in a general sense).
One thing is abundantly clear- home birth midwives will practice regardless of if they are legally allowed to do so. They have no problem with breaking the law, they just hope to make the law less pesky for their businesses:
“I remember the day I first discovered just how illegal I was. My heart sank. I panicked. I was sick, and scared. I went to work on solving the problem through legislation”
She did not consider quitting until her profession was legal, despite having worked as a computer programmer for years before then and having many more opportunities for employment than an unskilled laborer or non-college graduate would. I am also astounded by the sheer stupidity of establishing a midwifery practice before looking into if it was actually legal to operate the business to begin with. It seems like one’s attraction to the profession of non-nurse midwifery might be inversely related to IQ, if this blog is any indication.
Here is another choice quote on why she wanted the Direct Entry Midwifery Act to pass (besides keeping her out of prison):
“For me, the only reason to have regulation is to make it legal to use medications. If I didn’t need that, I would prefer legality without regulation. I’m really happy that under our bill, midwives in our state will be able to choose that.”
Read that again- the ONLY reason to have regulation is so she can use medications. The ONLY reason. Federal law prohibits the use of medications by unlicensed medical workers. The regulation in Utah exists for ease of practice for midwives! Not for the safety of mothers or babies or to hold negligent midwives accountable- these are the reasons normal people believe in regulating birth attendants. Midwives think that there should not be any rules those who attend births. Contrast this with the lies Holly Richardson (republican candidate for the state house of representatives in Pleasant Grove) left on my blog- telling me that I don’t understand their bill, and that there are “consequences- including criminal” for midwives acting outside their scope.
Don’t be mistaken either- Holly Richardson was directly involved with Suzanne Smith and the push to pass a bill that does not hold midwives accountable, even when they are negligent. Here is a quote about it in the article:
“My partner Holly Richard is a gift and a joy. Without midwifery, we’d never even have met.”
Are they still partners now that this deadly bill has cost a baby their life? Its hard to say. No one in the midwifery community thinks that the law needs to change- or at least no one has stepped forward yet to say that they believe the state of midwifery in Utah is dangerous.
Does this also mean Holly Richardson illegally practiced as a midwife, since this article was before midwifery was made legal in 2005? According to this article, yes (since KSL lists her as a midwife “of 14 years” as of 2012). She got her bachelors degree in midwifery before the practice act was introduced. She also trained other midwives at the Midwives College of Utah before the profession was legal, so at a minimum she assisted other women in illegally practicing as midwives. Why is this woman qualified to determine legislation when she has a demonstrated, repeated disrespect for the law in the first place?
Tell Holly Richardson you think Utahan babies and mothers deserve better. They deserve a skilled birth attendant that will be accountable if they make a mistake. Tell her you don’t think its right to let unlicensed midwives practice dangerously with the approval of the state.