Monday, January 21, 2008

Quotes from Birth Book

In the early 70's, Raven Lang was a self-trained midwife in Santa Cruz, CA. She and her sister midwives opened a birth center and served many women before one of the midwives was arrested in an undercover sting operation by a law enforcement couple posing as homebirth clients. Birth Book was the first woman authored, empowerment model, homebirth-oriented book to come out of the childbirth and midwifery movement of the 70's (published even before the better known and also much beloved classic, Spiritual Midwifery). This book has recently been reprinted on a very limited basis and is being sold by Citizens for Midwifery. This week I was delighted to read it at last and I wanted to share some quotes from the introduction of the book that felt relevant to me when thinking about midwifery in Missouri:

“Birth has not only reached the absurdity of having to be relearned, it also has the absurdity of becoming a criminal offense if we are to go ahead with our ideals and do things the way we desire. And so, because of the system, midwifery as practiced in this book is against the law. It has become political. We didn’t make it that way. For us it is a beautiful, personal, spiritual, sexual experience. And for us to have that, we become criminals.”

“None of this would have happened if we had waited for organized medicine to come around, or if we had been scared of the laws we would break, or if we had waited for money. I want now to say POWER TO THE PEOPLE, AND YOU CAN DO IT IF YOU WANT.”

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