I had an epiphany during my commute home yesterday. Instead of focusing my energy and attention on differences of opinion about the recent spate of legislation and panels about birth control, religious conscience, abortion and payment methodologies, I realized I should focus on our common ground. There s something in between the “War on Women” and “Reclaiming Family Values.”
It seems like there shouldn’t be any. But I think people have gotten into the habit of cutting their noses off to spite their faces. I’ve decided I’m smarter than that. I think you are too. So here is my proposal about women’s and family health to the Coalition of the Reasonable that I believe is out there. Continue reading
Audra Phillips, CPM and Treasurer for Midwives Alliance of North America took the time to talk about her path to becoming a Certified Professional Midwife and the importance of home birth being a safe option in the US.
I think this conversation is very timely since ‘Mother Robin’ won CNN Hero of the Year just last week. The internet has been a buzz with midwifery–but midwifery in the US has had an “interesting” evolution and is highly politically and at times emotionally charged.
Watch the interviews on my Vimeo Channel here: http://vimeo.com/channels/pitchforksoptional OR listen to the podcasts on iTunes.
In our TWO LOVELY conversations we cover: Continue reading
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I was certain that there was a moment in which I screamed at the top of my lungs “That’s it!” and picked up my pitchfork to make a change in the world. But I couldn’t really come up with one such instance. I could probably come up with a different event depending on the day and circumstance….What I know for sure is that it was born out of an intrinsic calling for social justice. But not wanting to miss out on a good story just because I have a bad memory–I surveyed my friends and asked them what my turning point was. They described me as sort of having a slow consciousness raising period during my college years which led to me choosing women’s health as my grounding point. I read a lot of books and shadowed a midwife. I went to nursing school became a squatter of sorts at CHOICE—whose midwives taught me so much about the breadth of women’s health and choices we make as clinicians. But there were also international experiences that shaped my ever-growing understanding of the trials and tribulations of the system in which we hang our hopes to save us. I went to Crow Creek moved to Colorado and Maryland, did health fairs and witnessed births and deaths and peri-menopause.
After some discussion, I began to wonder if it matters so much that I don’t remember a dramatic moment. Maybe my Turning Point was comprised of a million small observations about how women are both carved out of the larger health system (OB and peri-menopause) and constrained in a health system that generates lower health outcomes for women compared to men (heart disease, mental health, drug-reactions among others ).
Now that I think of it, my Turning Point is fused with what keeps my pitchfork raised. I read about all of these things (good and bad) and thought—there must be a shortage of people who are willing to help. I am a do-er after all. My pitchfork is not simply outrage but rather something to channel my force—my energy—my call for change.
Over time my Turning Point in awareness led to a devotion to the work. My devotion to making the system better.