It's about the law, not religion
Two mid-wives are on trial in Manatee County for practicing midwifery without a license. Linda McGlade and her daughter-in-law, Tanya McGlade on Dec. 8, 2004 helped Mara McGlade(married to Linda's son Ken) deliver her son Gabriel. Unfortunately things didn't go well, Mara died two days after giving birth.
I have mixed feelings on mid-wives. Personally I feel a mother should go to a doctor and a hospital. It's safer there for both mother and child, I think that should be the most important concern for childbirth. As many readers of TFM know, my wife is Filipino. Mid-wives are very common in the Philippines and do great work. Still I feel a Mom should go to the hospital if she has a choice. Here in the US mothers have that choice.
The McGlades are trying to explain what they did as part of their religious beliefs. What these women are on trial for isn't their religion but what Florida law says. There are good reasons for mid-wives to be licensed. They aren't and its that simple. Linda and Tanya McGlade broke the law. Did Jesus advocate breaking the law? I seem to recall him preaching Give to Caesar what is Caesar's. If you're a resident of Florida, obey its laws.
Also the McGlades seem to have forgotten the famous words of Clarence Darrow. "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client." I rhink it applies to mid-wives too.
NOTE- Today is June 1st and I've noticed a large amount of people coming to read this blog post. Can anyone tell me why? Are the McGlades back in the news?
Open Post- Outside the Beltway, Jo's Cafe, TMH's Bacon Bits, Blue Star,
BRADENTON - As prosecutors tried to convince a jury that several at-home births were medical procedures, two women accused of practicing midwifery without a license attempted to portray the births as personal religious experiences.
Assistant state attorneys Tricia Fradley and Jorge Andres presented a series of witnesses Tuesday in the second day of the trial of Linda McGlade and her daughter-in-law, Tanya McGlade.
The McGlades are accused of practicing midwifery without a license while helping Mara McGlade deliver her second child Dec. 8, 2004.
Mara McGlade, who was married to Linda McGlade's son, Keith, died two days after the birth from an excessive loss of blood, according to testimony by medical examiner Dr. Russell Vega.
While Fradley and Andres questioned several witnesses who are members of a religious group about what types of procedures the McGlades used during the several at-home births they attended, the defendants, who are representing themselves in the trial, focused on the spiritual aspect of giving birth in the cross-examination of those witnesses.
If they are found guilty, the McGlades, face from 21 months to five years in prison.
During her opening statement, Tanya McGlade said there were two sides to every story and that the prosecution was taking things out of context.
Tanya McGlade asked the jury to decide whether she and her mother-in-law ever represented themselves as midwives or accepted any payment for being present at any home births.
Tanya McGlade also reminded the six jurors and one alternate juror that they were "not lawyers, we're housewives and mothers."
As Linda McGlade gave her opening statement to the jury, she said she was a believer in Jesus Christ.
She said she and Tanya McGlade have a constitutional right to practice their religion and that all of the births, except one, that she and Tanya McGlade attended were of family members.
Carrie Murphy, who was a member of the McGlades' religious group when Mara McGlade gave birth to her second child, testified that the two defendants attended the birth of her third child, Max. Murphy testified that the McGlades performed the same functions as the midwives who assisted in the births of her first two children.
Murphy said the McGlades took her blood pressure, listened to the baby's heart beat with a medical instrument called a Doppler, checked her cervix for dilation and told her when to push.
When Fradley asked Murphy why she wanted to go through childbirth without a licensed midwife, Murphy said she felt pressured, but that her husband felt comfortable with the process.
Linda McGlade, 54, and Tanya McGlade, 26, told them "at the time the Lord would be with us," Murphy said, "and we can pray more with less hinderance if a midwife is there."
During her more than one hour of testimony, Murphy also said she arrived at the house after Mara McGlade gave birth to her second child, Gabriel.
"I was told to come over and pray," she said. "Mara was exhausted and having trouble pushing out the placenta."
Murphy said she had to leave the room because of the smell.
"There was a lot of blood," she said as she broke down in tears.
During cross-examination by Linda McGlade, Murphy admitted she had asked the McGlades to go to her home to assist in the birth of Max.
She also said, during cross-examination by Tanya McGlade, that the two defendants did not counsel her to have birth without a midwife.
"But Linda said having a midwife was 'doing birth the safe way,' " Murphy said. "I was offended" by that statement.
Murphy said all those present at the births she attended were members of the same home-based church group.
When questioned again by Fradley, Murphy said she was offended by the "safe way" statement because it sounded as if she did not "trust in the Lord."
Another prosecution witness, Jessica Case, told the jury that when she and her husband, Chris Case, were members of the McGlades' religious group, they were encouraged to have home births, but to refer to them as "unassisted" so no one "would get into trouble."
Jessica Case said she was present at several home births at which Linda McGlade and Tanya McGlade were present.
"Tanya would be checking her cervix to see if it was dilated," Jessica Case said when asked what occurred during the birth of Mara McGlade's first child, Hope.
She said she started to have concerns about the at-home births after Mara McGlade's death.
"I wasn't OK with what happened," Case said as she choked back sobs. "She should have been taken to the hospital sooner and given medical treatment."
According to police reports, emergency medical help was called to the home about four hours after Mara McGlade gave birth to Gabriel.
According to the medical examiner's autopsy report, Mara McGlade died in Manatee Memorial Hospital from "hemorrhagic shock complicating delivery of intrauterine pregnancy."
Bradenton Police Department Detective Greg Price testified he arrived at the house on the day Mara McGlade gave birth to Gabriel after hearing the emergency call over his police radio.
Price said he talked with Linda McGlade at the time and that she indicated Tanya McGlade was the midwife.