Midwife supporters protest Carolina OB/GYN's recent changes

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Close to 50 midwife supporters stood in the heat Monday to protest Carolina OB/GYN's decision to close its midwife program.

The protesters said they were told unexpectedly the practice was closing their midwife program.  Now they say women who opt to have a midwife can't make that decision for themselves.

"The closest to us is in the triangle," said midwife supporter Sylvia Santaballa.  "We should have about 13 midwifes for out population and we don't."

Supporters hope the peaceful demonstration will lead to negotiations with officials at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Though the hospital has no formal connection to Carolina OB/GYN, protesters said the hospital has a policy that requires an obstetrician to be present with a midwife when a mother's giving birth.

"It's a state law that obstetrician have to sign on protocols but states nothing in the state forum that says an obstetrician has to be on the premise," said midwife supporter Kirsti Kreutzer.

The protesters hope the local medical world and others will soon support their right to choose how they deliver and plan for their pregnancies and births.

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