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Roberta Devers-Scott's Court Statement in response to Misdemeanor Charges 9/23/96

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I stand before you today, willing to accept the "punishment" for "attempting to practice midwifery without a license". To this I concede. However, you have given me the opportunity to say something on my own behalf and so I will say this. The women of New York State demand the services of direct-entry midwives. They have demonstrated this to the Board of Midwifery, the Board of Regents and to the court. Direct-entry midwives in New York are trained, despite the prosecutorís contention they are not. The North American Registry of Midwives certification to which direct-entry midwives ascribe, is recognized as legal in 18 other states. Casa de Nacimiento, where I trained, is a fully accredited program, where I acquired more clinical hours than the newly created down state program. If this is not enough, direct-entry midwives are more than willing and have always been willing to comply with the deficits as New York sees them, as long as the educational model reflects "true" direct-entry midwifery. Further, New York generated two reports; the Ad-Hoc Committee report of 1990 and the Practice Sites report of 1992, which both suggest New York begin utilizing our services. To conclude, why is New York not actively pursuing its own Department of Health directives? Why did the Board of Midwifery fail to submit a report on direct-entry midwifery that was mandated to be completed by 1993, through the same law I was punished under? If we don't want direct-entry midwives practicing without a licenses, why have our pleas for a mechanism to licensure for greater than 15 years gone unanswered? While some of us continue to chastise the laudable work of direct-entry midwives ( the over-all statistics are over-whelmingly in our favor), perhaps those same individuals need only look at the fact that the current maternity care system is failing. The U.S. has a perinatal mortality/morbidity rate of 26th, falling behind many third world countries. Isn't it time OBs, CNMs and Direct-entry midwives stopped the turf war and start putting the needs of mothers, infants and families first! Isn't it time we stop wasting tax money to prosecute otherwise law abiding citizens and use that money to create educational standards for direct-entry midwives. After all, you've been trying since the inquisition to get rid of us and we're still here!

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Legal Aspects of Midwifery


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