I have known the person writing below for many years. She practices primarily among the Amish but also has clients among the 'English' as well. I know her to be compassionate, competent, and and excellent teacher. She and I were both able to present talks together at a conference in 2000 and it was a great pleasure. I sent one of my midwifery students to her for an apprenticeship and had nothing but positive feedback. I pray that the events she describes below will lead to good outcomes in the long run, and that her suffering will not go to waste.
(From my inbox this morning)
I am very sad to write to you all to let you know that I am to be charged with practicing medicine and practicing midwifery without a
license here in Indiana. I cannot give you all the details, but please know that the birth was normal in every way, until the end
when things went very wrong, very fast. The parents are extremely
supportive of me. The birth occurred last June. I acted completely appropriately, and the charges are not about the baby, or because of anything I did or didn't do at the birth, but because the state of Indiana requires midwives to be licensed, but does not provide a way for that to happen. I have been one of the midwives who has worked since 1993 to try to get licensure in Indiana, but so far we have not been able to do that. We do have a bill before the state again this year, HB 1237, and your support of that bill is also welcomed.
I will fight these charges in every way possible.
A Legal Defense Fund is being created for the overwhelming lawyer fees that I will incur. I have already spent $2400 in legal fees and
will have to post $1000 bail on Friday and nothing has even happened yet. I will send you more information about the legal fund later.
I have also created a separate PayPal account for legal defense. Go to PayPal - Welcome, and then go to the "Send Money" tab and use the email address email@example.com to submit funds to that account.
Please send this email to every list and every message board you
can think of, local or national, and every person who might be
supportive. I will people updated on this situation on an email list I created Trilliumbirthing. You can go to yahoo groups and search for it, and apply to join. If you tell me who you are I will subscribe you. Anyone is welcome.
This is all completely overwhelming to me as I am sure you can imagine. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
Jennifer Williams, CPM
One of my legal advisors thinks it may be helpful if people wrote
letters to the prosecutor on my behalf immediately.
I know that you are almost all out of state, some out of country, but it might help if he understood that there was a large body of people who support midwifery, or who are midwives themselves. You could introduce yourself and say that you believe that this should be a legislative matter in Indiana, and not a criminal prosecution and in fact Indiana has HB 1237 which would fix the licensure problem. You can mention the CPM 2000 study and whatever else you want to say about the safety of homebirth or the importance of midwifery care.
I want him to understand that people from around the country are concerned with this
issue and will be following this case. Ask him politely to drop the charges. Be nice. Don't be
argumentative or threatening. Make him know that people are watching. Please write it today.
A letter would be best.
R. Kent Apsley, Prosecuting Attorney
407 South Harrison Street
Shelbyville, Indiana 46176
He has a web site for comments if you want to try that - you have to
put your information into it and then put a comment
Thank you -- I love you all!
Jennifer Williams, CPM