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A Legal Win For Birth Attendants In British Columbia

by Gloria Lemay

For those of you who have been following my Court activities with the B.C. College of Midwives, today went very well. At 9:00 a.m. we had a Drum Circle on the front steps of the B. C. Law Courts building. Little girls wearing signs saying "Keep Your Laws Off My Body", "My Mom Had an Illegal Home Birth" etc. We went into Court at 10 a.m. I had been praying for a male judge. I find women are so brutal to other women in court and men just seem to get this whole birth thing so much better. Well, we got Judge Curtis, bless him. My lawyer (a man whose wife is a midwife, 7 kids) told the Judge that women have struggled in Canada to be allowed access to birth control, to be allowed to decide whether or not to keep a pregnancy and they should be allowed to decide with whom they will give birth in the privacy of their own home should they choose to have that baby. The judge agreed. He has granted an injunction to the College of Midwives preventing me from holding myself out to be a registrant of the College. This is something I have NEVER done nor would ever do so it's fine by me. He said that anyone can go to a birth and help out for a fee. The lawyer for the College of Midwives, at one point, inadvertently referred to me as Ms. Midwife--shows how easy it is to slip and use that forbidden word. No costs were levied. I am permitted to be a midwifery teacher. I am one happy " Private Birth Attendant."

Our context for this whole exercise was "Integrity". It really paid off and I'm really proud of my lawyers and myself. Thanks for all the prayers, moral support and $ contributions. We raised a little over $1600 to pay for this and I think it will now open up the possibility of more women in the province returning to their jobs as birth attendants. I'm so grateful to not be in debt at the end of all of this. We were out of Court and back home to have Study Group by noon.

My heart fills with love and gratitude for all the support. T H A N K   Y O U.

Gloria [Lemay]





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