"The freedom in a country can be measured by the freedom of birth." - Ágnes Geréb
Join us for a free screening of the film, "Freedom For Birth: The Mothers' Revolution": Friday, June 7, 2013 at the Villiage Church in Huntsville, Al.
"Freedom for Birth" is described by the filmmakers as a documentary about the abuse of human rights in childbirth around the world. The film tells the powerful story of Agnes Gereb, a Hungarian midwife imprisoned for helping to give women choice in birth. It features the story of how a Hungarian mother, Anna Ternovsky, who wanted a home birth with Agnes, took her country to the European Court of Human Rights and won a landmark case which might have changed the world! Also in the film are over 40 of the world's leading birth experts including: Ina May Gaskin, Sheila Kitzinger, Sarah Buckley, Robbie Davis-Floyd and Michel Odent.
At the conclusion of the film, we will read a personal account of an Alabama midwife's arrest and prosecution and open the floor for Q&A.
There is no cost to attend, but a "love offering" for ABC will be taken after the film. More information is available on Alabama Birth Coalition's facebook page.
In the next few weeks, we are in need of 2,000 signatures for the following petition:
"Petition To The Alabama State Legislature:
We the people declare that Alabama families need and deserve increased access to midwives. We request legislation be passed to license Certified Professional Midwives."
By signing this petition you agree to release your contact information to Alabama Birth Coalition. Your contact information will not be sold. If you do not already receive Alabama Birth Coalition email alerts, please sign the petition by filling out your contact information: click here to sign.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 17, 2013
Midwife Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM To Speak Across Alabama On:
“Best Practices: Closing The Gap
The JJ WAY® - A Model for Reducing Disparities
and Improving Outcomes in Perinatal Health”
The Alabama Birth Coalition continues its work toward the goal of healthy Alabama moms and babies through hosting legendary midwife Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM, on a speaking tour across Alabama to address solutions to racial disparities in perinatal outcomes. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama’s black babies die at over double the rates that its white babies do, and black infants continue to be at disproportionate risks for preterm birth and resulting complications.1
Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM’s model of care, the The JJ WAY®, has been shown to dramatically improve outcomes in an at-risk population. Her Orlando, Florida midwifery practice was featured in the documentary “No Woman, No Cry” which aired on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. Mrs. Joseph is a published author and esteemed lecturer. Among numerous awards and nominations, Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM was awarded the Women’s Resource Center Summit Award in 2007 for her work in reducing disparities and improving outcomes.
The Coalition invites health and social workers and the general public to hear Mrs. Joseph lecture, and to honor Black History Month through viewing Bringin’ In Da Spirit, a documentary which recognizes the contributions of black midwives to public health. Lecture/film screening events are scheduled in Huntsville, Montevallo, Tuskegee, and Anniston.
Huntsville: The Village Church, Friday, February 22, 2013 at 7:00pm. The Huntsville event is in partnership with The Village Church. $5 donation at the door.
Montevallo: The University of Montevallo, Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 1:00pm. The Montevallo event is in partnership with The University of Montevallo and BirthWell Partners. $5 donation at the door/free to University of Montevallo Students and Staff with ID.
Tuskegee: Tuskegee University optional tour at 6:00pm and St. Andrews Episcopal Church 7:30pm for film and lecture, Saturday, February 23, 2013. The Tuskegee event is in partnership with Tuskegee University’s Department of History and Political Science, The National Park Service and St. Andrews Episcopal Church. The Tuskegee event is free of charge.
Anniston: Mcclellan’s Restaurant, Sunday February 24, 2013 at 2:30pm. The Anniston event is in partnership with Cheaha Women's Health and Wellness. $5 donation at the door.
For more information on the events, please visit the Alabama Birth Coalition’s web site at , or find the organization on Facebook. For more information on Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM, and the The JJ WAY®, please visit www.jenniejoseph.com.
1. Alabama Perinatal Health Act, Annual Progress Report For Year 2012, Plan For Year 2013. State and Regional Perinatal Advisory Councils and The Bureau of Family Health Services, Alabama Department of Public Health.
The hands of black midwives have always saved lives! We honor the grand midwives of the past, present, and future.
Alabama has a rich history of traditional black midwives, who saved hundreds of lives in the Deep South. These brave, selfless, hero-midwives cared for women in conditions of extreme poverty and racism--often helping women no one else would care for. See history through these midwives' eyes in books such as Motherwit and Listen To Me Good.
In 1976, Alabama passed a law with the intent to outlaw traditional midwives. Margaret Charles Smith and about 150 other black traditional midwives were told they would be jailed if they continued to work as midwives. Prosecuting and eradicating Alabama midwives continues to have disastrous consequences for Alabama's mothers and infants. (See: Alabama Perinatal Health Act, Annual Progress Report 2011 )
On July 1, 2011, The Alabama Department of Public Health issued a map, finding that thirty six counties in Alabama lacked obstetric services. In other states licensed, community midwives, such as Jennie Joseph in Florida, help fill the gap and make a positive difference in outcomes. The state of Alabama still refuses to license community midwives to practice out-of-hospital in homes. There are also no free standing birth centers in the state. This means many Alabama women find it difficult to access appropriate maternity education and care.
At the end of this month, we're bringing the amazing midwife Jennie Joseph herself to Alabama for a speaking tour to discuss The JJ WAY®--a model for reducing disparities and improving outcomes in perinatal health. She'll be sharing the film Bringin' In Da Spirit, which tells the history of black midwives. The International Center For Traditional Childbearing (a non-profit African centered organization, created to promote the health of women and their families, and to train Black women aspiring to become midwives) will also be promoted at these events! Check back soon for details!
The Alabama Birth Coalition is dedicated to honoring the memory of Alabama's grand midwives, and supporting its present and future midwives. We recognize we have many miles to go before Alabama honors midwives as the heroes they were, are, and will be. We declare that Alabama mothers still need and deserve community midwives. We hope you'll make the following resources a part of your celebration of Black History Month:
Video: Birth Right
Film: Bringin' In Da Spirit
Organization: The International Center For Traditional Childbearing
Organization: Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM
Organization: National Association of Birth Centers of Color (NABCC)
Organization: Alabama Midwives Alliance
The legislative session on starts February 5th. What do we want our Senators and Representatives getting in their mailboxes as they arrive in Montgomery? A BUNCH of Valentines saying "We LOVE Midwives." One or two pro-midwife cards won't make the impression that hundreds will--so let's get hundreds sent! Join a fun pro-midwife Valentine-writing party near you (see our website homepage for a list)! If you can't make a party, find your legislators here and send them a pro-midwife Valentine!
Some possible Pro-Midwife Valentine messages:
Please support the midwife bill this session!