St. Vincent’s is closing. It’s a bad situation for many involved, the women who gave birth there, the other patients who received care there. No attempts at saving the hospital have worked.
Another result of the closure is that the NYC home birth midwives no longer have a back-up hospital or WPA (written practice agreement). They need this WPA, signed by a doctor, in order to practice in NY, even though those doctors have little to no involvement in their practice. St. Vincent’s was one of the only supportive hospitals in the city.
About half of the homebirth midwives in NYC have found other people to back them up–but the other half are stuck. At midnight tonight, they can no longer practice legally, despite the fact that they are licensed practitioners.
It’s a mess, and the NY government is not considering this an emergency because their patients can “just give birth in a hospital.”
We all know why this is unacceptable.
You can help. Take action today to put pressure on the NY State Department of Health:
YOU MUST ACT NOW to save the home birth option for New York Women:Call:
- Wendy Saunders, Executive Deputy Commissioner for the NY State Department of Health, appointed by Governor Paterson. 518-474-8390
- Larry Mokhiber, the Secretary of the Board of Midwifery (518-474-3817, extension 130)And say….
With the closing of St. Vincent’s Hospital, half of the licensed, highly trained home birth midwives serving NYC have lost their Written Practice Agreement (WPA). St Vincent’s was the only Hospital in the city supportive of a woman’s right to choose a home birth and willing to sign a WPA. In the weeks since it’s announced closure, these midwives have reached out to hospitals and obstetricians all across the city looking for support, with no success. Please help us to save the homebirth option in New York.People can also email the Governor at http://www.state.ny.us/governor/contact/GovernorContactForm.php.