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LovieThe Story of a Southern Midwife and an Unlikely Friendship$
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Lisa Yarger

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469630052

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630052.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Political Showdown

Political Showdown

Chapter:
(p.210) 24 Political Showdown
Source:
Lovie
Author(s):

Lisa Yarger

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469630052.003.0025

This chapter explores the resurgence of interest in home birth and midwifery (primarily among college-educated white women) as a result of second-wave feminism. Midwives such as Ina May Gaskin begin challenging the physician-controlled model of birth seen by many women as oppressive. Midwife-attended home birth also becomes popular among conservative Christians, who provide a new client base for Lovie. This chapter examines the response of the medical establishment to women's demands for more personalized care and details the political showdown in the early 1980s in which the North Carolina Medical Society pressured legislators to oppose home birth, despite Midwifery Study Committee findings about the safety of planned, attended home births. House Bill 814, passed in 1983, recognizes certified nurse-midwives for the first time and ends the licensing system for lay midwives. The bill also provides a “grandmother clause” for midwives who have practiced at least ten years. Lovie is one of two women to benefit from the exemption: although trained as a nurse-midwife, she did not maintain membership in the American College of Midwifery or seek to fulfill updated membership requirements. The other, Lisa Goldstein, becomes legendary among a new generation of midwives who have no idea of Lovie’s existence.

Keywords:   second-wave feminism, physician-controlled birth, Ina May Gaskin, Midwifery Study Committee, North Carolina Medical Society, House Bill 814, certified nurse-midwives, lay midwives, American College of Nurse Midwives, Lisa Goldstein

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