Free the Midwives
August 24, 2007
Dear Friend of Freedom:
We like to think that in the 21st century, in the United States of America, we have the right to choose our own healthcare providers without fear of criminal prosecution or harassment for them or us. Unfortunately, for some Missouri families and healthcare providers, this is not the case.
In Missouri, midwives face felony charges and up to seven years in prison for assisting parents who choose homebirth.
In Missouri, some parents face threats and harassment from their obstetricians, pediatricians and family doctors, who may disagree with their choice of healthcare. When homebirth parents transfer to medical care, they are often faced with threats from the medical staff to charge them with child endangerment or negligence, or threats to have the custody of any other children taken away because they chose homebirth. Sometimes, upon transfer to the hospital, proper medical care is delayed as the staff interrogates the parents, trying to force them to give up their midwife’s name before treating the medical problem that needs immediate attention.
Missouri stands alone as one of the only places in the free world where trained, certified midwives are considered criminals by the state.
Expectant parents, who care far more about the individual well being of their babies than the state, are capable of making their own informed decisions about the births of their children. There are different risks in both hospital and home birth settings, but research has proven again and again that homebirth with a professional midwife is at least as safe as hospital birth for healthy women. The decision of where and with whom to give birth is a choice that should be rightfully with parents.
As you likely know, there is coalition of organizations in Missouri that continues to stand up for the rights of Missouri homebirth families and their midwives. The ongoing efforts by Friends of Missouri Midwives, Show-Me Freedom in Healthcare, Free the Midwives, and the Missouri Midwives Association are intended to shine the light of truth on the Midwives Model of Care.
Our goal: Not one more midwife gets arrested. And not one more family will face the fear of reprisal or child endangerment charges because midwifery is illegal.
We stand together for justice to be done in Missouri: Unlock the handcuffs. Free the midwives. And at this momentous point in time and space, your donation is the key to unlocking these handcuffs. We need your help today!
Of course, many among you have been our bedrock support as we have worked to pass a new law allowing Certified Professional Midwives to practice legally in Missouri. Our gratitude is immense in the face of all we have overcome and accomplished working side-by-side with great patience, perseverance and very little money spent.
Perhaps you have helped by calling or writing letters to legislators, writing letters to the editor, agreeing to be interviewed by the media, or coming to cookie day. Maybe you were there on August 2 when we rallied at the Capitol, and saw the deep attention and support that Missouri is receiving from individuals, groups, and media outlets from across the nation. Many of you have been following the victories and setbacks since the new law, legalizing Certified Professional Midwives was challenged in court and struck down on August 8.
Now, as we have taken the first step towards the Missouri Supreme Court to appeal this permanent injunction of the new law, it is laid bare before us how expensive it is to defend home birth families, their midwives, and our rights to make health care decisions in Missouri. Quite frankly, it is very expensive. Lawyers cost a great deal of money, and thus far, we have not found lawyers willing to take the case without getting paid.
In consideration of our legal expenses to date, plus those expenses anticipated to appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court, as well as other modest expenses associated with our advocacy efforts, we ask you to donate during the first-ever formal Free the Midwives Fundraising Campaign. Our goal is to raise $75,000 by Oct. 31, 2007 to ensure continued success.
We need to raise $15,000 of this amount within the next two weeks to continue moving forward. Please commit to contributing to this sum. If you can’t write a check this week, please make it your mission to find someone who can!
To keep perspective, our fundraising goal is what it might cost in attorney’s fees to keep a midwife out of prison, once arrested or to help one family reclaim their child from the foster care system should they be charged with child endangerment for choosing homebirth.
Please join with us. make your donation today. Advocate for the importance of legal midwives, and the freedom to make your own health care decisions, for your family, your children, and grandchildren.
Steel Handcuff Key $50
Copper Handcuff Key $100
Bronze Handcuff Key $250
Silver Handcuff Key $500
Gold Handcuff Key $1,000
Platinum Handcuff Key $10,000 or more
As soon as possible, please mail your check to “Free the Midwives,” PO BOX 2319, Rolla, MO 65402, or visit http://www.freethemidwives.org/ where you can make your payment by Visa or MasterCard. All donations are most welcome and will be conscientiously applied to our legal defense and related expenses. Thank you in advance for your generous support!!
I appeal to you on behalf of the Missouri midwives and families who deserve freedom.
Elizabeth Allemann, MD
P.S. Please spread the word! Feel free to share this letter with your co-workers, neighbors, church members, friends and family. We cannot succeed in our efforts without the timely help of hundreds of individuals who believe that freedom is worth defending!
PLEASE email this fundraising plea out to your networks and ask that they in turn email out to their networks, and that they in turn email out to their networks, and well … you get the stone-dropped-in-the-pond-amazing-ripple-effects notion we have in mind here.