When it comes to dealing with legislators, being rude is never a good idea. Firm and persistent are okay, but being rude usually just leads to being completely ignored or worse. For those of us who are used to speaking our minds, it is difficult (at best) to temper the passion and opinions we hold so dear. Many times, I have had to physically restrain myself from speaking out with my true words.
As I work on getting people motivated to take action this week during a hearing for the BAD Midwife bill (House Bill 301), I am again reminded of just how much I can not say when at the Capitol. I wrote my nice, polite letters to the legislators who will hear this bill and asked them to support Missouri families. The one letter I want to write, but can not, would be to the man who started this. There are so many things I’d like to say, so many questions I have. Then I realized, why can’t I write him? I can write it here! Enjoy:
Dear Mr. Talboy,
I have been pondering many things about you since you first expressed your intent to return Midwives to illegal status. I have not yet met you, although I am certain we will cross paths at some point. I recently read your bio from your website and found the following statement regarding your upbringing interesting: “all instilled the values of standing up to do what is right, taking care of those who need help, the importance of education and the value of hard work and perseverance.” Really? Where are those values now? How can you possibly say that you stand up for what is right, when Missouri families are asking to leave Midwives alone and you insist upon trying to regulate them out of practice? Are you taking care of those who need help? The rural families who do not have ready access to hospitals, the families who can not afford an OB but can afford a Midwife, the women who have been traumatized by hospital births and unnecessary cesareans? I think not. It is quite obvious that you support either a) your own private agenda or b) the doctor agenda. Whichever reason it is, at least have the decency to be honest with the families and Midwives you so desperately want to punish.
Other questions that have gone through my mind are:
1. How do you sleep at night? Clearly you are fighting against many, many Missourians who have worked for YEARS (there’s the pesky hard work and perseverance you value so much) to have safe, legal access to Midwives. Does that weigh on your mind as you come stomping through their dreams and livelihoods?
2. Do you have children? Can you give birth? If you answered no to either of these, then what gives you the right to dictate when/where/with whom women give birth?
3. If you encountered a pregnant woman under the care of a Midwife, what would you say to her? Would you apologize for trying to take away her freedom, her care provider and her safety net? Would you acknowledge that it would be your fault she had to choose between asking her Midwife to break the law, giving birth unattended at home or going to the hospital?
4. Have you read any of the research concerning home birth midwifery? If so, how do you justify your position? If not, why are you so adamant to get rid of something you know nothing about?
5. One of your “issues”, as stated on your webpage, is Healthcare. “There is a health care crisis in Missouri. Previous cuts made to Medicaid have left over 250,000 Missourians without health insurance. With the stagnant job market and increasing unemployment, the number of families without health care continues to increase at an alarming rate while legislators continue to ignore the voices of the people. This is unacceptable.” Really? How many of those 250,000 are pregnant women who cannot afford standard OB/hospital care but can afford Midwives? Are there any OBs who work directly with their patients on payment plans and/or barter during financial strain? Midwives do. Also, yes, legislators DO ignore the voices of the people…legislators like you! Now that is unacceptable.