About Me

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Have you ever owed $26, 000 to a lawyer?

This is a plea from the Free the Midwives campaign. The amazing thing is that they actually Freed the Midwives! Now we just have to pay for it, no big deal, right? Our total charges for the original lawsuit and the appeal to the Supreme Court were somewhere around $120,000 I believe and the fact that such a huge chunk has already been paid amazes me. I hope someone out there can help with the rest.

From Mary Ueland:

I just heard a story from a CPM the other day. She was told about having to transport a baby by ambulance to the hospital a few weeks ago. It was amazing to hear her say, "I stood there with the paramedic and the cop and it was such a good, strange feeling to be at perfect peace and know that I had done the right thing AND wouldn't be going to jail.... to know that everything I did was just AND lawful!"

Last winter as we took our midwifery battle to the Missouri Supreme Court, and the legal bills piled up in the tens of thousands of dollars, we found ourselves facing bills far larger than we had ever imagined incurring. And, really, we had no idea just how we would pay them. Was it worth all the money we spent? Absolutely! It was totally worth everything that each one of us have given - our time, our money, our blood, sweat and tears so that women everywhere in Missouri can find a legal midwife!

It wasn't an option to quit and go home, leaving the midwives as felons for another year or decade. So we moved ahead, and scrimped and saved wherever we could. And many, many people donated so generously. We pleaded with our attorneys to waive the interest and give us time - a lot of time - to find money to pay the rest of the bill off. They graciously agreed and have given us a lot of time. We managed to pay off a good portion of the bill.

This week I received a personal letter from our attorney, informing us that we need to get our outstanding legal bill of $26,258 paid off by the end of the year.

Paying off our huge legal bill seems like old news to everyone. Donations to Free the Midwives (www.freethemidwives.org <
http://www.freethemidwives.org> ) have trickled to almost nothing as few people seem to think that we are counting on *them* to dig deep and help us finish paying off the bill. (Thank you to the few individuals who have faithfully gone above and beyond in donating in recent months, and the St. Louis FoMM group that has tirelessly continued to fundraisers for Free the Midwives!)

Will you commit to giving/raising $1,000, $500, or even $100 or $50 before the end of the year?

Do you have a midwife who risked 7 years of prison to attend your birth? She went out of her way to give you the birth you wanted. Perhaps you could prioritize this need and give generously, even inspite of it not being a "convenient" time for you? Almost anybody could raise $500 or $1,000 if they really set their mind to it. There are a multitude of ways, even if you can't personally give that much yourself.

Perhaps you can talk your mother-in-law into donating $200. Or your co-worker into giving you $20 to finish paying this bill off before the end of the year. Perhaps you can offer to match 50% of whatever your midwifery/doula/childbirth education clients are willing to give by deducting that much from your usual fee? Perhaps you have an uncle and a neighbor who would each donate $100 if you simply called and asked. Or you can collect $1 from everyone at some of the clubs/get-togethers/meetings you attend. Or maybe you can ask your family to donate to Free the Midwives on your behalf for Christmas instead of buying you another sweater that you really don't need?

So far, I have commitments from 2 people who have set a goal of giving $1,000 each from them and their friends by they end of the year. Can you commit to a similar goal? Please email me at: better_birth {at} yahoo.com and let me know what we can count on from you!

It is going to feel so good to have our debt paid off and devote our energies to increasing the number of CPMs in Missouri.

Thank you!

Mary Ueland
Cell: 417-543-4258

Please donate online at:
www.freethemidwives.org <
http://www.freethemidwives.org>

OR by check or money order:
Free the Midwives
PO Box 2319
Rolla, MO 65402

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kolbi-Guess I'm an big dork!! I had NO idea they passed this bill. Of course I was pregnant and had other things on my mind. I hadn't gotten interested the midwifery legislature until I became pregnant. Then I realized what midwives were and how they needed help.

Just to be sure I understand...I can have a home birth with a midwife and it would be legal?!?

Why didn't I know this? I have been driving a LOT of miles to see my midwife, who was awesome. Also, like I said on Facebook I was getting ready to write a letter to my representative to urge support for the bill. Maybe now I should thank them.

Rawne Pierce

Kolbi said...

Yuppers! Certified Professional Midwives are now perfectly legal!!