Monday, April 28, 2008
Next week's Blawg Review will be hosted right here, by Yours Truly. Not coincidentally, May 5th is also International Midwives' Day, so of course the theme of Number 158 will be "Midwifery and the Law". But posts on a wide variety of legal topics will be included as well. If you would like to submit a post for consideration, instructions are available at Blawg Review.
This week's Blawg Review has been posted at Thoughts From a Management Lawyer, a Canadian labor & employment law blog. Also of note: Carnival of Moms in The Law is a monthly law-moms roundup hosted by Power of Attorney. Moms In Lawschool is a weekly carnival which rotates between PT-LawMom and A Little Fish in Law School. And the law-student author of the intriguing The Art of Manliness is starting The Manival, a blog carnival "for posts dedicated to man stuff."
Enjoy, and please come visit next Monday for Blawg Review!
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Muscovites, amid a baby boom and changing attitudes towards children, wrestle with public breastfeeding:
Sheer lack of an alternative may ultimately have an effect on general attitudes and official handling of the issue of breast-feeding in public.
Britain, for example, introduced anti-discrimination legislation mandating that mothers be allowed to breast-feed babies wherever they like. Under the law, restaurants, stores and other public establishments preventing women from breast-feeding would face fines of up to ?2,500, or $5,000.
An incident last year in London, in which an exhibit attendant at the National Gallery told a woman to either stop feeding her 11-month-old daughter or to take her to the museum's mother-and-baby room, focused attention on the issue in Britain.
Similar incidents in the United States at shopping malls, restaurants and other public places over the last two decades have prompted many states to prohibit bans on public breast-feeding.
There are also countries, including Italy, Israel and many in Africa where legislation has never become an issue because there is no cultural bias against the practice.
It would appear to be an issue in Moscow.
A highly random and even more unscientific survey of employee attitudes at Independent Media, which publishes The Moscow Times, provided insight into how Muscovites feel about the issue. Of the respondents, who were divided almost evenly between men and women, about 80 percent said they did not think that breast-feeding should be done in public unless in an emergency, and then only discreetly.
This is the same traditional Russian approach that led to the creation of special "mother and child" rooms in Soviet times that are still found in airports, railway stations and some metro stations.
Outside of the transport milieu, however, things are tougher.
Finding herself in the city center with a screaming baby and no plans to travel by plane or train, Charlotte Baring said she had no other option than to feed her infant son on the nearest park bench.
"I was terrified I would get shouted at by a babushka for subjecting my baby to the germs of a public place," said Baring, an interior designer from Britain. "Nobody actually said anything to me, but I definitely got a few stares and funny looks."
Saturday, April 26, 2008
California - Midwife surrenders licenses to regulatory boards.
Florida - Linda McGlade and her daughter-in-law, Tanya McGlade, will get a new trial after being convicted in 2006 of practicing midwifery without a license, a third-degree felony:
Under the law, there are three components to midwifery: supervising labor and childbirth; advising as to the progress of the childbirth; and rendering prenatal and postpartal care. Also, there is no standard instruction for the crime of midwifery, according to the 4-page ruling written by Chief Judge Stevan Northcutt.
Judge Nicholas may have misled jurors to believe they could use only one of the three elements of the charge to determine if the McGlades were guilty, according to the higher court's ruling.
"In the absence of a standard jury instruction, the trial court clearly attempted to craft a proper instruction by employing the statutory language," Northcutt wrote in his opinion. "A defendant is entitled to have the jury correctly and intelligently instructed on the essential and material elements of the crime with which she is charged."
The court "rejected the McGlades’ claim that they were entitled to a jury instruction on the defense they were engaged in the free exercise of religion" (Link). The full court opinion is available here (pdf).
Missouri - Midwife legislation still stalled in Senate; Fierce Debate Over Midwifery Licensure; Midwifery bill runs into issues in Senate.
Pennsylvania - Diane Goslin's case in the news. Midwives Alliance of Pennsylvania has more information.
Also check out Midwifery World's Legal Cases in the News.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I am saddened to say that many Texan breastfeeding mothers may be separated from their nursing infants immediately, if not already... While we may not agree or understand the circumstances, I think we need to fight for the right of the children to have the best care and nutrition, which includes breastmilk.