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Landscape designer, portraitist, doula, student midwife, and mother of 5. Author of WHY THE U. S. GETS THE WORST CHILDBIRTH OUTCOMES IN THE INDUSTRIALIZED WORLD (Dec. 10, 2014), available in paperback and ebook from Lulu, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
Amid Americans' squabbling over access to health care and who's going to pay for it, what's never mentioned is the fact that American allopathy is applied to maternity care chiefly to garner huge profits for the owners of hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and medical schools, NOT to get the best outcomes in childbirth. American law handed a monopoly in maternity care to doctors a century ago, at a time when no midwife or any other woman had the right to vote, and without any proof that routine medical care for uncomplicated pregnancies worked any better, or even as well. That legal precedent is still being used to marginalize independent midwifery in most of the U.S., though countries which have universal, single-payer health care all get better outcomes than us, while employing independent midwives for primary maternity care and spending half as much per birth. Most Americans remain unaware of this, for the same plutocrats who benefit also own the mainstream "news" media, the politicians, the for-profit insurance companies, courts, and the computers which "count" your votes in secret. The legal profession does very well by it, too. The problem is political, and only major political change or widespread boycotts of hospitals are likely to make any dent in the status quo.