Internet broadcaster takes on topic of jailed Asheville midwife

| March 29, 2013 | Comments (24)

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 1.30.02 PMProgressive Parenting on blogtalkradio says it plans to interview Tina Bailey from jail this afternoon. Earlier this week, Bailey was arrested and charged with the murder of an unborn child. Here’s the blurb that is running with the program.

The program so far has not had Bailey on the air. It did receive a call from a woman who identified herself as Bailey’s wife, who said Bailey’s “heart was heavy,” but offered no other detail:

Today we are talking to Rowan Bailey, a birth advocate in North Carolina, where midwives are literally criminalized and Homebirth is virtually prohibited because mothers are forced to choose hospital birth or unassisted birth. Rowen is talking to us from jail, where she was taken because she assisted a mother in excercising her own human right to birth her baby where she chose. This mother chose to birth her baby at home and due to nobody’s fault, this baby was lost in labor. If the situation happened in a hospital it would have been a horrible tragedy, but because it happened outside of the hospital, Rowan has had her house raided and is now sitting in a cage for doing nothing other than supporting a mother’s informed choice.

There’s an indiegogo campaign to raise $15,000 to bail Bailey out of jail. Click here for Bailey’s fundraiser.

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Category: Asheville News

About Jason Sandford: Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville. View author profile.

Comments (24)

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  1. Midwife and home birth supporter says:

    Rowan was arrested again in January for breaking the conditions of her bail. So much for all that money raised to get her out…

    Do we know if she is still in jail?

    She is destroying the home birth community here, and should not be our cause.

  2. Factchecker says:

    Several times it is stated in the article and comments that homebirth is illegal in NC. The fact is that homebirth has always been legal for the mother, and Certified Nurse Midwives may legally attend home births as long as they have a backing physician. There may be too few CNMs in practice but it is important to be clear about the facts in this discussion. The CNM practice guidelines were written too vaguely for the comfort of most physicians which is one of the reasons so few are willing to enter into such an arrangement, which then limits the number of legal midwives.

  3. Carmen says:

    I agree 100% that the law and women’s rights need examining in this case. Nerida really broke it down that it could have been anyone’s fault, or no ones. The fact is that the law is written so slyly to keep the oldest form of childbirth out of the state and practice and leave it all up to the hospitals. Hospitals that plan your cesarean births before it’s even a necessary thought. I had my child at home and Rowan (Tina) was the Douala to my midwife. We had a back up doctor in case of any complications who was excellent! He was actually highly accredited in this country and state but he was eliminated from the hospitals and ob/gyn businesses in this area because his cesarean percentages were not high enough and the practices were losing money on him. That’s all it is to these doctors, money. The more drugs you take and the more procedures they preform the more money they get. There’s no money in a natural birth for them. They try to make us believe our bodies can’t handle a regular birth(and some can’t when they haven’t taken care of themselves and the baby well enough during pregnancy). That’s what makes us special as women is that our entire body changes to accommodate this new life and allow it safe passage into this world and feed it after birth.
    If there were certifications and training for midwives allowed for home-birthing these things wouldn’t happen. It is a violation on women’s rights to be asked to go to the hospital were there are 100′s, even 1000′s of infections roaming around just waiting to take hold of us when you and your child are most vulnerable. My mother had home-births for me and my siblings. She once had a doctor ask her with astonishment, “You’d rather give birth at home!? Do you know what kinds of germs are in your home?” My mother replied, “Yes, I do. But I don’t know whats in your hospital.” It’s horrible that this happened to this family and Tina. I’m eagerly awaiting trial to know more on this case so I can support the grieving family and Rowan.

    And by no means is Rowan and prostitute. She has been in a partnership with a wonderful women for well over 10 years and is not that kind of woman. Please read the reports and put age and race into factor, you’ll see that it was not this older, white woman that sells herself.

    I understand everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I’m not trying to stump that in anyway. But it sickens me to read the slander on this page when you don’t even know this woman or the details of the case. And to just see something on google about someone with the same name charged with prostitution just to throw it together with someone else who has now been charged with something and to flaunt your “knowledge” of this matter on the internet. Blegh! Again, I say sickening!

  4. Nerida says:

    BTW the mother also named Rowan Bailey as being the same person as Tina Louise Bailey, the woman apparently charged with prostitution (yet to be found guilty). There now appears to be some back pedalling going on as to whether they are in fact the same person. Just one more “fact’ that seems to have been misreported.

    • Megan says:

      I heard that the Tina Bailey suspected of prostitution is black….I promise the midwife Tina “Rowan” Bailey is not black…

    • Local Midwife supporter says:

      The different News stations are reporting Rowan/Tina as the arrest, “Feb 9th, Tina Louise Bailey, 44, of Craig Circle, was charged with prostitution. A secured bond of $250 was set. Darrell Brooks made the arrest.”

  5. Nerida says:

    This case has a number of different facets to it.

    No.1 A licensed midwife would not by law have been able to attend a home birth in this state.
    No.2 The parents would have been aware of that and willingly participated in doing something that was illegal in their state. It could be argued they co-orced another person into committing a crime.
    No. 3 According to someone who claims to be a close friend she was NOT in labour for 4 days as some suggest. Her waters broke sometime before she went into labour and that added a risk factor for a number of reasons. But none-the-less the parents chose not to transfer at that point.
    No. 4 there is a bit of he said she said going on. Both sides are saying the other party refused hospital transfer. Under the circumstances as it was illegal to birth at home with a birth attendant, it is easy to see why both parties would be reluctant to fess up an go to hospital. The law is also partly to blame here. However according to the mother, Bailey did stay with her throughout the transfer and during the eventual delivery of her baby and according to the close friend Bailey went back to clean up at the home. So Bailey has put herself at high risk of being in trouble with the law to continue to assist the mother (she could have high-tailed it moments before the ambulane arrived but didnt) and had the compassion to not leave the birth mess for family and friends to clean up.
    No. 5 The legislation that she is being charged under is intended to deal with violent assault on a pregnant woman who subsequently delivers a dead or damaged baby. Basically it is set up for cases of criminal assault and domestic violence on pregnant women and their unborn child. Murder implies intent to cause death and a correlative action or a total disregard for life and a criminal act that causes death. It might be difficult to prove that Bailey intended to kill the child or that she had a total disregard for the life of the child. Interestingly, this smae law allowas that the mother herself can harm the unborn child and not be charged – so figure that one out?
    No.6 If the parents were not medically insured and were concerned about the financial cost of delivering in hospital, they had one more reason to hold off going to hospital. But it appears they were happy to pay less to a birth attendant. It may well be that they intended to pay nothing at all as the mother refers to Baily as a ‘community midwife’ who from my reading of the different classes of midwife is not permitted by law to charge a fee and may work only in very restricted circumstances. It seems hypocritical to then charge the birth attendant, who could not be carrying insurance, when things go haywire.

    This is a very tragic story but none-the-less it appears the parents very much wanted a home birth, they felt they could not afford a hospital birth, they knew or should have reasonably known that they were not acting within the law of their state, they took the cheap option. The parents took a calculated risk. Sadly it went horriby wrong.

    The parents have been able to post their story and the debat rages while the birth attendant sits in jail not being able to say a thing in her defence (may be it is not defensible) but she has not yet been proven guilty of anything.

    It is the law and womens rights that need closer scrutiny here.

  6. Bill says:

    Thank you for reminding us of that fact Sean. I think it is telling too. Plus, in most murder cases, Police and DA do not release facts before the case goes to trial. We may not know the whole story for a while. Especially if it goes to trial.

  7. Sean says:

    I thought it was telling that the child’s family released a statement asking for privacy, but also reminding the public that what happened to them was absolutely horrific. And that they were completely cooperating with the police and the district attorney in order to seek justice.

    I read today in the ACT that the group raising money to pay her bail has reached their goal. Good for them. I hope that their complete ignorance to this family’s suffering and making this an agenda pays off for them. They can surely take solace in the fact that “Rowan” will now probably skip town and leave nothing but heartache and broken pieces in her wake.

  8. orz says:

    Anybody and everybody who wants to go back to treating birth as a 100% natural process needs to go back and look at the statistics.

    What was the maternal mortality rate, before modern medical intervention was available?

    What was the infant mortality rate, before modern medical intervention was available?

    I guarantee that they are way, way higher than any expectant mother would be comfortable with.

    I suppose if you want to have a go at a natural, unassisted, or assisted by a “community midwife” birth, that’s your choice, but you need to know the facts and you need to know when to cut your losses and call 911. With this woman it should have been not more than 24 hours after her water broke. This “Midwife” who supposedly seems to have advised AGAINST going to the hospital even after days of such a drawn out and complicated labor, which is absolutely inexcusable and deserves a hefty punishment.

    • Big Al says:

      All true.

      BUT.

      This “midwife” did not have the power to coerce the family into not calling 911 or taking the mother to the hospital whan things looked bad. They CHOSE to accept her advice, a perfect example of self-inflicted sanctimonious political correctness, for which they NOW blame everyone but themselves and want “the man” (whom they sought to avoid by hiring this “midwife”) to provide justice for. I agree the “midwife” should be brought to trial, but the family is equally to blame for their child’s death. Let’s not rush to jump on their bandwagon of innocent victimization.

      I work in healthcare and am always amused at how the hippy communals of Asheville criticize “westernized medicine” right up to the moment that their herbal remedies fail to cure their chest pains, THEN call 911 only to negotiate every fine point of their treatment with their caregivers as if the system that is now saving their life is still the enemy.

      Do you not see how embarrassing and hipocritical you appear? Pull your heads out of your politics and join the real world. Or stay out in the sticks with your “wise woman” and “guru” herbal remedies and die with some dignity.

      • Justin says:

        Big Al. Your are a jerk. I hope I never have you as my care provider. You seem unable to be compassionate and very unfit for your line of work.

  9. Scott says:

    Real simple. This woman was unqualified, unlicensed, and misrepresented herself. She killed a woman’s baby for crying out loud. Instead of trying to bail her out, the legitimate midwives should point to her as an example of what can go wrong if you don’t know what the hell you’re doing. Lock this dumbass up for a looooooong time!

  10. indie says:

    Rather sketchy article here, guys.

    The woman had no license and allowed a labor to continue for 4 days. You kinda forgot to mention that.

    Lumping this abomination in with mid-wife rights issues is very misleading.

  11. charlie says:

    I don’t understand why this midwife is not at fault. She allowed a homebirth to happen at 42 weeks and for 4 days long. when that happens, the baby goes into distress and typically passes feces into the amniotic sac and then the child inhales it and can die very quickly without intervention. she told them not to go to the hospital because it would cost too much because they were uninsured. we had an awesome homebirth with a midwife in california and she would not do a homebirth after 41.5 weeks because of this risk. i support homebirths and midwives but it’s situation like this that give it a bad rap. i believe most births should be at home and hospitals should just be there for emergencies (such as this, which would have saved the babies life had they gone to the hospital earlier). people need to stop embracing her and begin advocate further midwife training. oh and did you know she got arrested in February for prostitution also?

    • anon says:

      Thank you for bringing that up charlie. I have read the birth story, and the mother’s waters were broken for 2 days before real labor started, risking her out again.
      I had a homebirth planned with a CNM, and they were very strict about hospital transfer after 24 hours of membrane rupture because of risk of infection. The cutoff for them is also 41.3 because of bad outcomes when mothers go post dates.
      Had this midwife acted on the two MAJOR red flags in this situation, that baby would be alive
      This was not a case of the mother making an informed decision, it was more a care provider not using good judgement and not guiding a family to make the decision to transfer to save the life of their baby when it was indicated.

    • Megan says:

      What about mother’s rights? If she wanted to go to the hospital, she could have, but she chose to have the baby at home. That was her right, but nobody forced her to do any of this. That makes it the mom’s responsibility not the midwife’s.

  12. Nate says:

    I don’t agree with the severity of the charge (especially since the law she’s charged under is one of those anti-abortion stalking horse statutes), but this woman was practicing medicine without a license and it sounds like she contributed to the death of this baby. Is it really persecution to expect that medical professionals be vetted by the state?

    My only question is if DA Moore is hitting her with the heavier charges to try to force a “compromise” plea deal, or if he’s making some kind of grandstanding play to up his state-wide profile. If played the right way, this story could easily become national news.

  13. Mike says:

    I think the charges are that she caused the death of the child. This excerpt states that it would of happened no matter where (home vs. hospital) of course she’s innocent until proven guilty, but I don’t think this is ‘criminalizing’ midwifery. She’s being charged for not being properly licensed and for causing a death, that otherwise could of been avoided. In realty other, fully licensed/regulated midwives should be against this, because it gives a bad name/reputation to midwives.

    That being said, as a digression, mid-wifery is marketed and proposed as a natural alternative to hospitals. Whereas hospitals are chemicals and malpractice, and midwifery is natural. (that’s how it’s sold) That being said, the midwifes are supposedly properly licensed and regulated, and by the way, perfectly legal. That is the base charge here. My humble opinion, which isn’t worth the 2 cents, is that Midwifery is lumped in with the natural perspective along with vegetarianism, veganism, minimilism, gardening, raising chickens, etc. In the end it’s much safer and smarter to have a child in a hospital, don’t mess around with your children.

    • JT says:

      Totally agree, and hopefully the silence from the midwife community on this site indicates that they want to distance themselves from this case and are in favor of regulation.

    • Connie says:

      Rowan Bailey also has prostitution charges pending

      • Cameron says:

        Don’t be so quick to judge and certanally get the facts straight. Tina Bailey is a 38yr old black woman who was arrested in Sylva for prositution. If you had done 30 seconds worth of research you would know that. The silence from the midwife community is because we are out in droves collecting money for her bail and not sitting around doing idle gossip about something we know nothing about.

      • Megan says:

        …um, Rowan is 44 and I promise you she is not black. LOL I should know, she delivered my baby at home.

      • Local Midwife supporter says:

        just to clarify, the different News stations are reporting Rowan/Tina as the arrest, “Feb 9th, Tina Louise Bailey, 44, of Craig Circle, was charged with prostitution. A secured bond of $250 was set. Darrell Brooks made the arrest.”

        It is the same woman, not a black woman.

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