Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bienvenido a Miami: Where Pregnant Women are Sold to the Highest Bidder

Since I have finally gotten the attention of the Florida Department of Health, the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, and the Jackson Memorial Hospital Public Health Department, maybe I should write some more on this blog.

Thanks to my twitter fans and the great blogosphere, I learned that a report came out, in May, stating that South Florida's C-section rate has climbed to nearly 50%.

Look at this:

MIAMI-DADEC-Section Vaginal Total C-Sec %
Kendall Regional1,5346462,18070.3%
South Miami2,4831,6624,14559.9%
Mount Sinai9441,0001,94448.6%
North Shore8471,1692,01642.1%
Palmetto General9591,0462,00547.8%
Jackson Memorial2,7862,7385,52450.4%
Jackson North6261,0781,70436.7%
Jackson South5049681,47234.2%
TOTAL: 15,33614,63329,96951.2%

BROWARDC-Section Vaginal Total C-Sec %
Plantation General1,5441,7103,25447.4%
Northwest Medical7451,1101,85540.2%
Holy Cross6255861,21151.6%
Memorial Regional1,7332,4204,15341.7%
Memorial West1,9472,8114,75840.9%
Memorial Miramar1,4131,5792,99247.2%
Broward General1,4792,0713,55041.6%
Coral Springs8371,3772,21437.8%
TOTAL: 10,32313,66423,98743.0%

MONROEC-Section Vaginal Total C-Sec %
Lower Keys19033852835.9%

TOTAL SOUTH FLORIDA 25,84928,63554,48447.4%

So much for Healthy People 2010!

Pregnant women and their supporters should be terrified--but not terrified to the brink of paralysis. Radical activism is needed to turn this situation around.

South Florida and Miami in particular has a large community of midwives. The medical establishment continues to reject them and their supporters even though OBGYN providers have been decreasing in numbers.

Interestingly, nearly one year ago, Miami Dade College shut down the only non-nurse direct entry midwifery program at the undergraduate college level in the United States (see previous posts on this site)*. This program lead to Certified Professional Midwife certification (CPM--which is gaining legal authority nationally). The students in the program were allowed to continue, but those that were accepted for that fall, were left out to dry.

Those prospective students, midwives, and friends rallied and wrote letters to legislators, media, and organizations, garnering international support. However Miami Dade College President Eduardo Padron, and the 8 Board Members only had excuses and weren’t interested in any of the solutions that were offered. Even the fact about the C-section and infant mortality rates being abysmal and the fact that Governor Charlie Crist had signed onto measures to combat this–nothing was offered to the students or to support the program. Not one single glimmer of hope.

And now look.

More interestingly is that Jennie Joseph, owner of The Birth Place in the Winter Garden area of Orlando, FL, has been successfully attending pregnant women for quite some time. And NOW, drum-roll please…a Certified Nurse-Midwife pilot practice in the area has been implemented to copy her results–-which is great because we want results, but no credit is given to awesome CPMs like Jennie. This isn't a special interest, this is a lifetime commitment and part of the uplifting of a community.

The CNM-CPM and medical establishment debate continues….while women and babies are dying.

They know what to do in Florida, they just aren’t doing it. It’s really that simple.

It has been obvious that the medical establishment is not going to simply acquiesce in the face of opposition. They think they are doing great service with pregnant women existing as commodities to feed the machine.

Think about it: So long as there are women who are getting pregnant, who are taught to fear their bodies and who are ignorant of its natural processes, there will be a group of those who claim superior knowledge, to whom we give power and thus render ourselves as objects of gross malfeasance and continuous exploitation and experimentation.

As Sojourner Truth said,

“If women want any rights more than they's got, why don't they just take them, and not be talking about it.”

*Let me distinguish this from SUNY Downstate's non-nurse direct-entry midwifery program at the graduate level, leading to ACNM certification in which Certified Midwives (CM) can only practice in three states