Horrible Midwife News from NY State!

by Esther on Wed, Apr 28th, 2010

in Challenges,Doctors, midwives, and doulas

Reposted in part from a friend in New York due to give birth at home next week:

Basically, in new york state midwives need to have a written practice agreement (WPA) with a institution or a physician. most of the homebirth midwives here had a practice agreement with st. vincent’s, which was essentially the best/most progressive hospital to birth in in new york city. unfortunately it was in a lot of debt and earlier this month it was decided that it would shut down. so as of friday all the homebirth midwives are without a WPA. which means all the homebirth midwives are kind of screwed and have been scrambling to figure out what to do. apparently there is legislation in the senate already to remove the WPA requirement and the only real thing to be done in the meantime is to have a “health emergency” be declared by the governor so that the midwives can continue practicing until either the legislation goes through or they find someone to sign a WPA. of course, the department of health is saying this is not an emergency because all we homebirthing women can and should just give birth in hospitals anyway.

This is really horrible up news, people. Pregnant women in NY will be denied a right to choose their births if something isn’t done very quickly. Hundreds of women are right now planning home births in New York, and have worked for months to provide their families with the comfort and medical assistance they need. Also, there will be several midwives completely out of work for an undisclosed amount of time, forced to send their patients to OB (surgeon!) strangers for labor and delivery!

Please call Wendy Saunders, Executive Deputy Commissioner for the NY State Department of Health, appointed by Governor Paterson. The goal is to flood them with calls tomorrow. the governor’s office number is 518-474-8390. Leave a message with her staff explaining that with the closing of Saint Vincent Hospital in NYC, there are hundreds of families now stranded and it is your understanding that the governor is the only one with the authority to declare a Health Emergency and to issue an Emergency Executive Order waiving the provision of the law that requires midwives to have a written practice agreement.

Please pass this message on to anyone from NY state that you know and encourage them to call!!!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kirsten Thu, Apr 29th, 2010 at 6:52 am

This is hideous!! As a recipient and proponent of midwife care (here is WA, thank God), I hope the phone is ringing off the hook in NY today.


2 Esther Thu, Apr 29th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

As much as I sometimes miss NYC, I am thankful every day of this pregnancy that we opted to stay in Seattle rather than move back! We are very fortunate to live in a place this medically progressive.


3 Jen Fri, Apr 30th, 2010 at 10:53 am

I just emailed a few government people in NY from this link:

I just can’t believe this kind of crap is going on there. I have to scan the PA laws now I guess and see if I am safe for the future.


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