A family in the Dayton area is entangled in a criminal prosecution as a result of their homebirth. Nine weeks ago, the Levier family welcomed the second child to the world at home with the assistance of a midwife. He was born safe and sound. A few hours later, they were a bit concerned about mom so they made the decision to call 911 just to be safe.
In Montgomery County, whenever 911 is called and a child is involved, the police show up as well. The EMTs insisted that the newborn baby needed immediate medical attention (despite being perfectly happy and healthy) so mom and baby transported in the ambulance and baby was monitored for a while to confirm his good health. Meanwhile the police further investigated, taking statements from Dad and the midwife, who identified herself as a doula.
Six weeks later, the Levier family was given a summons to appear in court regarding charges of child endangerment. Both parents have been charged and arraigned. The next legal step is in late September. Their attorney hopes to have the charges dismissed, but in the meantime, they are facing the expenses of attorney’s fees for representing BOTH of them while dad’s work schedule has been drastically reduced for September.
The family has given me permission to share this news with you and I thought it important for these reasons:
1.To offer financial support as well as broader community support during this very diffuclt time. We are asking you to support the Levier family and homebirth in Ohio by making a donation today. You can do this through OFSB’s paypal account. Use the “donate” button at the bottom of this post, and please be sure to include your name and mailing address. Also, if you would like to plan a fundraiser in your community for their support, contact Stephanie Beck-Borden and we’ll help get the word and out and share what resources we can.
2. To let families know about another way the law may be used against them regarding homebirth. Even if the charges are dismissed, it will have been 12+ weeks of anxiety, worry and expense for the Leviers. Many have had the experience of being hassled by Child Protective Services, but this is a criminal proceeding!. We have believed that while midwives are at risk for prosecution, families were not. This is a distressing development to say the least.
3. To share another real life example of why Ohio Families for Safe Birth believes that having licensed midwives is important for both families and midwives. If this family’s choice of care provider and location for birth were legally recognized, I don’t think they would be in this situation.
Thank you, in advance, for you support of the Levier family. It is greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately, this DOES NOT surprise me one bit! :(ReplyDelete
Homebirth with a midwife is illegal in OH? I am so sick of all this political/medical CRAP. YES I am in the middle of reading some Marsden Wagner and yes it's pissing me offfffffff!ReplyDelete
Doesn't OH have the highest circ rate in the country? Could it be that they don't want a single boy to escape the knife? Besides the monetary greed OBs seem to have...ReplyDelete
Reading this brings back the fear and anxiety I went thru while planning my homebirth, and while my son was a baby, that the wrong person would turn us in to CPS. I didn't worry about being charged with a crime atleast! This poor family. It's nothing but a witch hunt.ReplyDelete
:( who wants to help me do a fundraiser for them?ReplyDelete
I dont understand. Why would the midwife identify herself as a doula? Was she not a certified midwife?ReplyDelete
Ashley - in some states (including OH) midwives are not legally able to attend birth in a non-hospital setting (even though they are trained, qualified, and fully capable of doing so). Therefor, when transfers occur, if the midwife goes with her client, she must go in as a 'friend' or a 'doula' rather than the birth attendant or she can be sued and lose her midwifery license.ReplyDelete
Does anyone have details on the final outcome of this case? What ended up happening??ReplyDelete
I have been trying to find out how this case was resolved? Would like to know more but can't seem to find any info about it. I hope things worked out for them!Delete
This is our update. It is not illegal for a midwife to attend a home birth in the state of Ohio. We do not support mandatory licensing of midwives and do not authorize any use of our story or name to be used in conjunction with any efforts to regulate midwifery and home birth. http://everydaywitherin.blogspot.com/2011/11/post-two-years-in-making.htmlReplyDelete
Thank you for your update/response, Erin. This post came to us in Sept 2009 from "Safe Birth" (http://safebirthohio.org/blog/archives/177) who stated they had personal connections with you and that this was an item you desired to have shared. If you would like to discuss replacing it with something directly from you, and from your position on the matter, please drop us a note so we can make the alterations. Thank you. DrMomma.firstname.lastname@example.orgDelete
Thanks so much for your reply, I will e-mail you. If you read the link I posted above you can see what our experience with "Safe Birth" was all about.ReplyDelete
Just read it and I am so sorry. No one here had any idea about the truth of the matter. Look forward to talking more indepth with you to see what we can do to present your story accurately.Delete