Arkansas Moms Sue Health Department

$2,375 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 9 months
This fund raiser is to help pay for legal fees and associated expenses for 5 Moms who are suing the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). The ADH regulates the licensed midwives, they have forbidden midwives from accepting clients who wish to birth out of hospital if they have had a prior cesarean. This leaves families who desire a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean at home, to birth unassisted. The ADH is deciding for these families which medical professionals they can hire and barring them from the services they wish to use. 

The ADH also requires the midwife client to have two mandatory risk assessments. The client who has already hired a midwife for prenatal care must obtain these risk assessments which are almost exclusively done at the health department, to make sure the client is “safe” enough to birth at home.  The assessments include pelvic exams and STD testing. If a client refuses to complete the risk assessments then her midwife will have to release her from care to avoid disciplinary action. This is COMPELLED medical treatment for these families and this must stop!

This lawsuit will be to the benefit of current and future home birth families who wish to exercise full autonomy over their medical health. 

The funds raised from this will help to pay for continued legal expenses (filing fee, attorney fees, traveling to hearings, childcare for Moms to attend hearings) to help prevent the 5 woman named in the complaint from having to pay directly. 

We will be filing soon and your support would mean so much to the 5 local Moms, the home birth community, and to those who believe a competent adult should always have the final decision about their course of care.
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So where are things right now with this lawsuit???....

We are currently on hold waiting for the Judge who denied our temporary restraining order back in October of 2018 to file his written decision on the case. Until this summary is filed we can not appeal his decision, and I'm told this can take any where between a month to a year. I know, the wheels of justice turn slowly. However, do not be discouraged!

Our lawyer Kesha Zaffino, has been invited to speak at the Birth Rights Bar Association conference in Chicago. Let's pray that gets us publicity and donations.

This also gives us time to raise the much needed funds to appeal this decision and move forward with our main lawsuit to increase access to licensed midwives.

What exactly do we need funds for?
$3000 for an appelate expert lawyer
$1000 for court reporter
$1500 to the clerk (filing fee)
$???? to hire MD and PHD research experts, we have contacts but have not asked what they would charge for expert testimony

We are also doing other fundraisers by collecting gently used baby, toddler, junior, and maternity items and selling them at Rhea Lana. If you have items to donate please email me. So far we have raised about $500 from 2 sales.

We will get VBAC moms access to licensed midwives and remove mandatory medical treatment for all if we vow to never give up.
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Our team has been brainstorming ideas to boost donations! We need to raise $4300 to pay for the lawyer we have hired to work our appeal.

$20 donation: Free 30 minute phone or video lactation consultation. Donation by Tanya Smith, IBCLC Serenity Breastfeeding

$25 donation: $25 off group childbirth classes through Arkansas Family Doula

$30 donation: Free legal consultation by video conference, phone or in person in Northwest Arkansas. 30 minutes in length on any practice area: medical malpractice, civil, family law, personal injury, landlords tenant, expungements. Donated by Kesha Zaffino

$50 donation: $200 off birth stories or $100 off regular sessions by Brittany Oaks Wandering Oaks Photography

$100+ donation: $200 off labor doula support with Arkansas Family Doula

If you would like to participate in the gift incentives after you have made your donation email me at Chelsea_cameron@att.net

Gift is transferable but must be redeemed with your name.
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After much thought we are appealing the denied temporary restraining order we requested against the midwifery rules for the pregnant plaintiff to be able to hire the licensed midwife she desires for a home birth.

We do believe there is irreparable harm if Belinda is denied the option to labor at the hospital nearest to her. A doctor has agreed to allow her to attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) IF that doctor happens to be at the hospital when she arrives in labor. This is the same hospital around a year ago, that told Belinda for her last birth that if she did not consent to a cesarean she should leave.

The Arkansas Department of Health wants to turn a blind eye to woman like Belinda. Because the midwifery regulations prevent midwives from accepting clients with previous cesarean the only option for out of hospital birth is an unassisted home birth.

We have found an experienced lawyer who is willing to work our appeal at a discount rate but we need to reach at least $4,000.

I KNOW this village can help us reach this goal.

Belinda and all the other families that are facing the same circumstances in Arkansas are worth it!

Please donate! Please share! Tag people who you think may be interested in our cause. If you have been waiting to reach out to people who may sympathize with our cause, like your rich Auntie, please do it now!

Thank you to everyone who has helped or donated!
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We were denied our request for a temporary restraining order yesterday, as written in an article of the Democratic Gazette, “At a hearing Wednesday, Piazza said that to grant the requests, he would have to find that the women's lawsuit challenging the Board of Health's rules is likely to succeed.
"I don't see that in this case," he said. He added that such a temporary order lifting the restrictions "might cause harm to an unborn child."
"The Department of Health has a duty, whether it's right or wrong, they have a duty to try to protect both the mother and child," he said.”


We still have a future hearing for our main complaint, there is still an opportunity for us to get the VBAC ban lifted and to make risk assessments visits optional for midwifery clients.

After getting home yesterday and I was able to change into pajamas and pour myself a glass of wine to begin unpacking everything that had happened that day... I am so freaking proud of Kesha Zaffino, our lawyer and Belinda and Tessie who bravely took the witness stand.

Kesha was on point with the facts and not letting either of the two attorney general lawyers get away with twisting the reality that Arkansas families face with birthing choices or lack there of.

Belinda and Tessie spoke with conviction and confidence and did not waiver under hefty cross examination.

History has shown, nothing makes change happen like a group of passionate, committed woman who want better for their families.

While the attorney general and Department of Health are all getting paid through employment for their participation, we need our village to support us financially through this process. If you can’t donate please share.

Thank you to all our donors!

Link to full article https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2018/oct/25/judge-denies-request-for-midwife-rules--1/
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$2,375 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 9 months
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