If you are dubious about freedom, can we at least agree that everybody has a natural (God-given if you prefer) right to control what is done to his or her own body? A free society cannot possibly exist without this basic right, which is recognized by the 4th and 10th amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, and Article 1, Section 1 of the California Constitution, to name but a few. Despite this, the State of California is perfectly willing to ignore self-sovereignty when it comes to a woman’s right to choose the place, manner, and persons present when she gives birth.
Ongoing cases in point can be found here. Consider also the case of Katie McCall, a midwife who was prosecuted by the State of California for doing what was right, rather than what the State dictates, telling her story here. Such cases have a tremendous chilling effect on the provision of midwifing services in California. State prosecution for technical violations of midwife licensing laws must stop. Immediately. Besides working a great injustice on the midwives who have done no harm, prosecuting midwives for technical license violations lowers the supply of midwives and raises medical costs. For more information about natural child birth and state prosecution of midwives, see my blog post here, references and awareness kindly provided by another.
A woman has an absolute right to make an informed decision where, how and with whom to give birth. Whether the birthing mother freely chooses a licensed midwife, an unlicensed midwife, no midwife, or an ob/gyn doctor, the choice must be hers, and hers alone. We need not fear chaos in the free market for birthing services: if we cannot trust mothers to make the birth decisions that are best for them and their babies, who can we trust? Certainly not bureaucrats hired by politicians.
Nothing raises my ire like unwarranted prosecution of competent, caring midwives willing to assist mothers in the difficult and sacred process of child birth. Birthing service providers have an obligation to be honest regarding their training and experience when being considered for hire, and to perform according to the standard of care that they have contracted to provide. That’s just about it. Any claims against midwifes or other birth service providers must be initiated by the mothers they serve, not by State licensing bureaucrats.
If elected as California Attorney General, I’ll stop all prosecution of home birth midwives under my control for mere licensing violations, without delay — whatever the political or legal consequences to myself. That’s my solemn promise to all mothers, soon-to-be mothers, and midwives in California. It’s the least I could do for the life you bring into the world.