The Gift I Received June 1, 2012

A few hours ago, the following was posted on a forum of Los Angeles birth doulas. Doulas, mind you, not midwives. I wonder why? Is it because I have resumed attempting to work as a doula? I am not a member of the forum but several friends forwarded the message to me.

I really don’t know what to say. So I will just say this: I stand by my version of the story which is found at

And my response to the widely diverging stories between what is below and court testimony… making me wonder if the email is even authentic:

If you have questions about me, PLEASE ASK ME. I’m an open book. Yet the people who keep vilifying me never speak to me. I feel very sorry for their hearts to be filled with so much hate that they would want to continue to attack me and see me so ruined. I am heartbroken by Elizabeth Bachner (and her “source”) that she would post something of this nature on a large forum without confronting me with it first or even notifying me that it existed. Very painful thing to do to another woman indeed. :*(Everything I stand by is contained in court documents. If anyone wants proof of anything just ask. My hope is that, like me, you are tired of all of this drama and couldn’t care less. I’m too tired to fish through this long message and respond to every point. I’ve been kicked so many times it’s becoming normal. I really would like it to stop. I cannot put words to the grief, pain and devastation this whole five year long ordeal has brought me. And because my only motivation was love and to help, I walk away believing I should have never been so naive as to serve birthing families. Just what we need when there is a shortage of birth workers. May it never happen to another birth student.

I hope that my silence will not cast a shadow on my integrity. I am choosing to not waste time defending myself when I could be spending precious time building up other women.



Hello Ladies,

I received this from a friend who is very involved in the birthing community.

She received it directly from the mother involved with Katie McCall’s case. I

am forwarding it here as information, NOT as a personal opinion nor as gossip,

as I feel it is important for everyone in the community to know about this

letter as we might be hearing about it from clients, friends and colleagues.

I have uploaded the pdf file to the group as well as copying and pasting it

below for convenience.

Warmly, Elizabeth

p.s. the mother has asked for her personal information to be removed from the

original email, that is the only thing that has been edited.

Elizabeth Bachner I Midwife, Acupuncturist & Birthing Coach

1445 N. Gardner Street I Los Angeles, CA 90046 I 310.704.3500 I




> Begin forwarded message:


> From: J(text removed)

> Subject: Katie McCall Case

> Date: June 1, 2012 2:49:37 PM PDT

> To: (text removed)


> Hello (names removed),


> Next week, Katie will face the California Medical Board to regain her license,

and she’s currently appealing her guilty ruling from last year’s trial. Before

she garners more support based on the untrue picture she has created, I wanted

to give you my own words about the case, and have attached a statement that

explains what happened.


> Please feel free to share it as you deem appropriate, or to just use it for

reference if questions arise. My interest isn’t really that it becomes widely

read, but that the information is available for birth professionals and families

who might choose to work with or birth with her in the future.


> I’ve tried to be as clear and concise as possible, but it’s still quite long

because I wanted to cover so many points. As I mentioned before, please do not

attach my name to it in any way.


> If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. You can contact me

via email or call me at (text removed).


> Thanks, and blessings,


> J(text removed)


Last year, a California court determined that midwife Katie McCall was guilty of

practicing medicine without a license. Following the ruling, Ms. McCall began

circulating a story that painted her as the victim of an overzealous legal

system attempting to restrict homebirth freedoms, and by extension, other

freedoms as well. This story picked up momentum, becoming featured in mainstream

media as well as homebirth and women’s rights blogs. Unfortunately, as the story

spread, its sharers accepted Ms. McCall’s version without question and did not

stop to verify it against the facts of the case.

I was the material witness in this case, the mother whose birth Katie attended.

I am a committed supporter of homebirth, midwifery, and birth choice. My

experience, and the experience of those present with me at the birth, is

dramatically different from the story told by Ms. McCall. I do not have any

reason to be dishonest about this and I don’t intend to profit from the

situation in any way.

It has been several years since this all began. In that time, I have remained

quiet, waiting for Ms. McCall to adopt a posture of humility and assume

responsibility for her actions. She has never done so, and has instead

maintained that she saved our lives and has done nothing wrong. Since she is now

seeking a reinstatement of her license, and has the potential to practice again,

it is time for me to confront these untruths. I hope that my statement will

clear up some of the misconceptions around this case, and I ask that you please

take a moment to hear the facts of the story. What I am sharing is consistent

with court documents and the statements of at least two witnesses, and I hope

will give a more complete account of the actual case.

I also feel great compassion toward Katie. This case has undoubtedly been very

difficult for her and her family, and it must be something that burdens her

daily. I would not wish this situation on anyone, and it has been painful for

everyone involved. Because of this, I feel the most loving and honest thing to

do is to speak the truth.

The details I am sharing with you reflect my initial statement to the California

Medical Board made several years ago, and my testimony in court; my story is

consistent and has not changed. Below, I address the claims surrounding the

case. Some have been made by Katie McCall directly, while others are erroneous

details that have sprung up in the process of supporting her (the claims are in

italics; my responses follow). The statement below is lengthy, but I ask that

you please read it in its entirety in order to fully understand the truth of the


The family involved in the case was happy with the care they received, and are

not the ones who filed the report.

We were not happy with the care we received. Many unprofessional actions were

taken by Ms. McCall, and we failed to put them all together before it was too

late. We trusted her, and regret doing so.

The initial report was filed by an acupuncturist who was present at the birth.

She filed with our complete support and cooperation shortly after the birth. We

chose not to file a report at that time because we wanted to focus on our new


Katie McCall was asked by clients to be their midwife. The exchange was not for


After interviewing several midwives, my husband and I agreed to hire Katie and

pay her asking fee of $1,500, which was explicitly stated in a contract provided

by Ms. McCall. This amount was paid to her in full.

Several statements report that I was a friend. I was a client and did not know

her in any other capacity.

The agreement was that Katie would be hired as a student midwife which would

count toward her training, and she would bring a preceptor (supervising midwife)

to the birth.

This is true and included in the contract. Katie explained that there were three

midwives under whom she worked, and that if one was unavailable for the birth,

the others would be contacted.

At the time of the contract, the preceptor was contacted, and an agreement was

made that she would attend the birth and receive money and sign contracts when

she arrived as she lived farther away than would allow this exchange to happen

ahead of time.

The preceptor was not contacted at the time of the contract. Neither I nor my

husband had any contact with the preceptor prior to the birth, and had no such

arrangement to exchange money with her. We had already paid Katie in the form of

two checks made out in her name, the last of which was paid several weeks before

the birth. Both of these checks were cashed.

The contracts mentioned were signed by my husband and me nearly two months

before the birth. This would have been ample time to mail them to a preceptor

for her signature, which Katie did not do.

Katie McCall was not paid by the clients, or was paid only $200.

Katie was paid in full in advance of the birth, in the amount of $1,500, on the

schedule that she had requested. At one point, she claimed that she had

accidentally ruined one of the checks in the wash, and asked for a replacement.

My husband and I verified through our bank that she had already cashed the

check, and provided her with the tracking number that proved this. She did not

mention it again.

At the time of the birth, the supervising midwife was called, but was


Katie claimed to have called the midwife, but this was never witnessed by

anyone. This midwife was on the witness list and prepared to testify under oath

that she was never called.

The supervising midwife had another mother in labor, and had already committed

to that birth.

Katie did not tell us this during our child’s birth, although she later

testified to it in court. The midwife involved was prepared to testify under

oath that she was not attending another birth, nor had she planned to attend our

birth, nor had she ever heard of us. All of these details were fabricated by Ms.


I later learned that none of the women listed as Katie’s preceptors were even

licensed to practice midwifery in the state of California. This means that even

if Katie had contacted one of them, she would not have fulfilled her commitment

to provide a licensed midwife at the birth.

Other preceptors were called and no other preceptor (supervising midwife) was


No one witnessed Ms. McCall contacting other preceptors, and there is no

evidence that this occurred. No other midwives reported receiving a call.

Katie told one witness present that she called only one midwife, who was unable

to attend because she was home caring for her sick children. Katie stated that

she had a long list of preceptors, but preferred not to call them because she

was confident she could handle the birth herself. According to this witness, Ms.

McCall then put away her list of midwives and made no other attempts to contact

them. My husband and I were not present when this occurred and were not made

aware of this.

One of the three midwives Katie claimed to work with had never supervised Katie

at a birth, and had no arrangement with her to be listed as a preceptor. She has

never been involved with her in any professional capacity.

Out of the 350 births attended up to that point as a doula and as a student,

Katie had never attended a birth without a supervising midwife before.

This is untrue. The birth Katie attended on Tuesday, November 22, just prior to

mine, had no preceptor or licensed midwife present. It was just Katie and the

family. On arrival to my home, she told everyone present that she had just

delivered the baby and repaired a perineal tear alone, and the mother later

confirmed that this had been the case.

Another couple who had Katie at their birth without a preceptor, in which the

mother and baby experienced complications, were scheduled to testify at the

trial as well. It has happened at least two other times. These women have not

yet come forward to discuss their experiences. My hope is that at some point

they will.

The client was told that there was not a midwife available and that she should

transfer to the hospital.

This is false. We were not told that a midwife would not be present, and were

led to believe that everything was being handled as agreed upon.

This is the most striking claim made by Ms. McCall, and one that was not

generated until well after the birth. When I arrived to testify at the trial, I

expected that our experiences might differ slightly with regard to some details,

but that much of our testimonies would be congruent. I was stunned when the

District Attorney

informed me of Katie’s defense: that on arrival to our birth, she had told us no

midwife would be attending and that we should transfer. This never happened. At

no point in the labor or post-birth period did Ms. McCall recommend a transfer.

Three witnesses corroborate this and testified to it in court under oath.

If Ms. McCall had recommended a transfer, we would have transferred. This is

especially true of my husband, who would have been entirely uncomfortable

without a properly qualified midwife, and would have insisted on going to the

hospital immediately.

Katie looked on during the labor and was minimally involved, not wanting to

practice midwifery without a license.

Katie performed multiple functions of a midwife throughout the labor and birth,

including cervical checks, doppler readings, administering pitocin, and suturing

perineal tears. Never did she express any reticence to me or my husband about

serving in this capacity because of the lack of supervising midwife.

When Katie recommended a transfer, the client refused to transfer to the


I did not refuse to transfer. A transfer was never recommended. If a transfer

had been recommended for any legitimate reason, I would have transferred.

The clients requested that Katie stay with them despite the recommendation to


We made no such request, assuming that Katie would be attending the birth as

agreed upon.

Katie’s statements give the impression that this all happened very quickly,

which was not the case. She became aware of my labor two days before the actual

birth, giving her ample time to contact a supervising midwife or other licensed

birth professional. Once at my home, she was present there for over 10 hours.

During that time, if she had assessed that none of her preceptors would be

available, she could have explained this to us and given us the option of

transferring or contacting a midwife outside of her preceptor list; she did not.

Katie was not present when the baby crowned and the head was born.

Katie was present through the pushing and crowning phase, also providing

perineal support as the baby’s head emerged and pulling on the head as it was


The birth resulted in a shoulder dystocia and a subsequent severe postpartum

hemorrhage. Katie treated these conditions and saved the life of the mother and

the baby.

The diagnosis of shoulder dystocia is highly questionable, since some of the

obvious warning signs were not present. The diagnosis was also not confirmed by

a medical professional. Katie initially treated this suspected issue with

techniques contra-indicated for the condition, such as pulling on the baby’s

head when it emerged and failing to wait for the next imminent contraction to

birth the baby’s shoulders and body.

It is likely that Katie contributed to or directly caused the postpartum

hemorrhage by removing the placenta prematurely, with ungloved hands. After this

occurred, I began to hemorrhage severely. The extensive bleeding was largely

ignored by Ms. McCall until it became potentially life-threatening. She did not

treat it immediately as has been suggested. Instead, she did not attempt to

treat the bleeding until the acupuncturist who was present expressed distress

over my appearance. The hemorrhage was initially stopped by myself and the

witness present, and again when I began to bleed minutes later. After the

bleeding resumed the second time, Ms. McCall administered a shot of pitocin.

Ms. McCall eventually called an ambulance and the patient transferred after the


Katie never called an ambulance or any other medical support personnel, nor did

she instruct anyone else to do so. Earlier in the birth, Katie had requested the

presence of a woman who was considering becoming a doula to provide labor

support under Katie. She had worked as an EMT but did not serve in this capacity

or provide medical assistance at the birth.

Despite heavy blood loss and a severe perineal tear, Katie did not recommend

that we transfer to a hospital for treatment. She instead chose to suture the

tear herself, which later led to serious complications. At no point did she

suggest that she was unqualified to perform these maneuvers, and at no point did

she recommend a

hospital transfer after the birth. If my husband and I had been made aware of

the severity of these injuries, we would have sought medical help immediately.

Katie respected the rights of the birthing couple and honored their choice not

to transfer.

This was never our choice to make, since she did not recommend a transfer or

give us a true appraisal of the situation. Our options were limited rather than

respected because of Ms. McCall’s actions.

This is a victimless crime. The mom and the baby were healthy and were not

involved in the case.

Both my child and I were injured as a result of our treatment at the birth.

Our family is involved in this case. We traveled to a state that has no

jurisdiction over us, and testified when we had no legal obligation to do so. We

have no intention of filing a civil case, and therefore no potential financial

gain. I am legally entitled to damages, which amount to many thousands of

dollars, but I am not seeking them. I also have grounds to sue Katie McCall for

both fraud and breach of contract, but have not done so. I have nothing to gain

from this. Testifying was humiliating and a tremendous invasion of our family’s

privacy. In spite of all this, we feel strongly about speaking the truth, and

chose to be involved.

Ms. McCall was reported to the Medical Board by a doula at the prompting of two


Katie was reported by an acupuncturist who was present at the birth, not a


The acupuncturist’s acquaintance with “two midwives” had nothing to do with her

desire to file a report. After deciding to file, the acupuncturist briefly

consulted her own midwife to ask which governing board should be contacted. She

did not speak with any other midwives.

Midwives threatened the doula’s [acupuncturist’s] career or pressured her in

some way in order to convince her to file.

The acupuncturist present at the birth lives in a completely different state

from the midwife she initially consulted, and she was in no way under someone’s

influence or at risk of having her career threatened by not filing this report.

She has not worked for any midwives in any capacity before, during, or since

this incident.

Further, when she filed the report, she believed she was reporting a licensed

midwife for gross negligence. She did not realize Ms. McCall was unlicensed, and

learned this only after filing the report.

This woman’s integrity has been maligned in a number of forums, and this is not

only unfair, but unrepresentative of who she is as a person. She has maintained

the highest professional and ethical standards throughout her career and the

trial process, and was named an “expert witness” due to her training and

expertise. She is also a home birthing mother herself. After witnessing the

irresponsible and unethical conduct of Ms. McCall, and knowing the danger she

might pose to future clients, she decided to alert someone. Her desire in filing

was to maintain the high standards set by the midwifery profession, and to

protect other families from similar treatment.

The acupuncturist filed the report and became involved in the subsequent trial

at great personal and emotional expense, and has nothing to gain from her

involvement. Anyone familiar with the rigors of the trial process will realize

that it doesn’t make sense to leave her own young child, travel across the

country, testify and be cross examined, and expose herself to public scrutiny

without an excellent reason. She wanted to protect birthing women, and had a

personal and professional obligation to do so.

The following details may be absent from trial or court records, but I would

like to address them here:

After this incident, Ms. McCall eventually received her license and became a

fully certified midwife.

She received her license only because of a clerical error on the part of the

California Medical Board, which failed to properly search for her name (using

“Katie McCall” instead of “Katherine McCall”) during the licensing process. As a

result, they did not see the complaint filed against her or the investigation

which was in process. Katie McCall would not have been licensed had this error

not occurred.

Katie McCall refused to take a plea deal for a lesser charge.

Although Ms. McCall initially refused to plead guilty to a lesser charge in

exchange for leniency, this was not the case once the trial was underway.

Following the testimony of me and my husband, she and her attorney

sought a plea from the District Attorney who was prosecuting the case. At that

point it had become evident that her testimony was not the truth and that a

guilty verdict was likely. The DA refused the plea.

This case threatens doulas and laypeople who attend births. Midwives can be

charged with a felony for palpating a belly or taking blood pressure.

This is not an issue, unless those in attendance are hired specifically to

provide midwifery services and fail to do so. Laypeople are protected under good

samaritan laws and would not be subject to this sort of prosecution. Katie

McCall was not convicted of a felony for palpating a belly or taking blood

pressure. She was convicted for gross negligence, dishonesty, and

life-threatening actions at a birth, and for practicing medicine without a

license. These concerns are built on details that are simply not true.

This is all about the right to birth at home.

This is about one person who accepted money for a birth for which she claimed

there would be a preceptor, and never asked a preceptor to be present. She has

attended at least three births in this manner without a preceptor present. At no

time did she recommend a transfer, and at no time did I refuse to transfer. When

complications arose, Ms. McCall managed them poorly instead of recommending

transfer to a hospital for treatment. This is not about the right to birth at

home. This is about holding an individual accountable for her actions, and

preventing her from inflicting similar or worse treatment on others.

These stories are simply too different to be reconciled to each other; one of us

is speaking the truth, one is not. One of us gains nothing from lying, has no

motivation to do so, and has not sought publicity from the case in any way. The

other has everything to lose, and spent the trial and its aftermath scrambling

to change the story, to generate support under false pretenses, and to save her


It is tempting to curve this into an ideological battle to support our right to

birth at home (or wherever we desire). This right should be upheld and supported

by men and women all over our country without reservation. However, this case is

a poor example; it isn’t about our rights as home birthing parents. It is about

a woman who acted far beyond the boundaries of her training and the desires of

birthing parents, whose actions resulted in serious complications, and who then

proceeded to lie in court, and to all of you. It is about preserving the

integrity of midwifery, and protecting families from negligent practitioners.

Please distribute this statement in full as you see fit. My only request is that

readers respect my desire for privacy in this issue. Our family has already been

through so much, in a very public way, and so we now ask that our privacy be

maintained. Thank you.


A Country that Kidnaps Children is Sick Indeed

I used to wonder how people could be locked up in concentration camps. I used to drop my jaw in awe at the idea that friends and neighbors would turn someone in to a corrupt government for nothing but abiding by their conscience or their religious belief. I used to think with disbelief about how a person could look into securing false paperwork to escape a country headed down a dark path.

I no longer wonder.

My own trials aside, I am heartbroken for an even greater injustice.

I have friends who had their children kidnapped from them by the faceless “state.” Their six children were taken for no reason but being “different.” They keep kosher, observe the sabbath and birth and school their kids at home. They have no criminal record and the charges brought against them by the state did not stick.

I knew this family before their drama with the state. Their children are beautiful, loved and cared for. Even the state agrees they are.

But the public doesn’t believe it. It is apparently too hard to wrap your head around the idea that the state has the power to remove children from their parents for no good reason. It is too painful to consider that children might be traumatized for profit. It is too difficult to entertain the thought that OUR state… the one that we all grew up thinking was so “good” and “free” would do something so evil we can’t even acknowledge it exists.

How do you console a mother who weeps for her babies? How do you fight for her in such an odd battle where nobody wants to join in the difficult task for taking on these bullies?

What kind of country do we live in that we turn a blind eye when a good mother is begging to have her babies returned and is denied access to them for no reason, despite a court order to have them returned?

I used to wonder how the German people could say they didn’t know about the concentration camps. I now wonder how United States citizens can sit idly by and allow CPS to have the kind of unchecked and corrupt power it does. Only our children are the ones to suffer. What kind of future will they champion, being ripped from the families who love them, adopted out so a local CPS office can gain 4 grand for their sale?

Will we sit idly by while the state drives mothers insane by murdering the most sacred space of their hearts and then declares her insanity as the very reason her children were ripped from her?

Will you turn a deaf ear to her cry? All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Stand for liberty now in peacetime. I don’t care that our government isn’t as corrupt as some… I want the kind of freedom NOW that I will wish I had during the deep tyranny that may come.


It’s All About the Tar and Feathers

It’s been a little while. I’m on to trial number two. (for those unfamiliar with trial one, please visit:

Yes, you read that right.

A few days ago, my attorney and I headed into court again. This time it was a new venue: The Administrative Law Court in downtown Los Angeles. The Medical Board is now beginning its’ action against my license.

I knew the proceedings were going to be wonky when the judge told my attorney (in attempt to help him understand how the court works… it’s a far cry from the Federal Criminal Court), “Ok, look… set aside your intuition and what you know of right and wrong for a minute…”

The Deputy Attorney General representing the Medical Board, Vladimir Shalkevich, has apparently been with my case since its’ inception. It’s nice to finally meet a face that has been so intimately involved, rather than being a peon in a cubicle somewhere. This man has MET the witnesses and apparently believes strongly enough in my case to make it his bread and butter all these years.

During the proceedings, he told Stephen (my attorney), “Your client does know that she is liable to pay all of the expenses of these proceedings and the attorney’s fees (his own) associated with this, right?”

I almost died laughing. Seriously, dude, get in line.

Stephen explained that if the Medical Board doesn’t allow me to work, how do they expect me to pay. He went on to tell both him and the judge that he thought the whole thing was financially motivated. Duh.

But “Vlad” said that he believed the Medical Board was not motivated by money, but by the desire to “get their license back that they accidentally gave to Ms. McCall.”

“It’s as if,” he said, “your client found the neighbor’s puppy and needs to return it.”

The Medical Board offered to continue the case until after my appeal IF I would stipulate to a suspension of my license… something I cannot do. If I stipulate to suspension and then win at appeal, the suspension will always remain with me and is looked at unfavorably by most other states if I were to move (might have to after all this bullying!).

Of course, “Vlad” went on and on about the unsafe position I have put the medical board in as I might just “go and practice” even on probation. You know, cus I’m such a lawbreaker.

After court, Stephen called his bluff and asked if he would be willing to bend the rules (stating that I can’t surrender my own license during investigations or discipline) in exchange for not owing the Medical Board any money… I mean, honestly, I can think of nothing I’d like better than to NEVER have to deal with the crazy Medical Board again!

Of course Vlad declined the offer.

So… we’re off to trial number two on June 6th. I am TRULY hoping that people will come and support me at this trial more than any other. From what we know of the way the Medical Board works, the trial itself doesn’t even matter. The judge could rule against the Medical Board and tell them to quit their bullying, but the Medical Board is under no obligation to even listen to the judge. They will still do whatever they like.

And “Vlad” let us know several times, in no uncertain terms, that they want to revoke my license. They are not willing to even bend.

So, PLEASE plan to join us on June 6th at the Administrative Law Court. The address is: Offfice of Administrative Hearings, 320 West Fourth Street, sixth floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013. The room itself can only hold so many people, so we may need to alternate viewers.

It’s going to be a doozy of a tar and feather show. I’m just going to be openly and publicly paraded as the convict I am. I’d really love to know there are people there who know a convict isn’t ALL I am.

Also, if you’re into holding signs/protesting whatever, this is the day to do it. We have nothing to lose… I mean, what are they gunna do to me, take my license away???

Also… PLEASE consider writing letters to the following people to voice your opinion, either by snail mail or email. If you already wrote a letter for trial, you can just amend that and send a copy to each person below. You are also free to call these people… they are being funded by your tax dollars after all. Distribute far and wide. Thank you!!!!

After calling or sending your letter/email, make a complaint about the Medical Board of CA here:

Vladimir ShalkevichDeputy Attorney General (assigned to my case)
Health Quality Enforcement
300 S Spring St Fl 5
Los Angeles, California 90013 897-2148

Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Phone: (916) 445-9555

Renee Threadgill, Chief of Enforcement ( and Laura Sweet, Deputy Chief of Enforcement (
Medical Board of CA
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA  95815
(916) 263-2389 phone
(916) 263-2387 fax
and cc enforcement staff: Susan Cady (, Ramona Carrasco (, Kurt Heppler (, Natalie Lowe (, Kelly Maldanado (, Ian McGlone (, Valerie Moore (, Paulette Romero (

Governor Jerry Brown (who appoints the Medical Board members)
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160

Or send an email through the following link:

Barbara Yaraslovski, President
Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA  95815
(916) 263-2389 phone
(916) 263-2387 fax

Reginald Low, M.D., Chair
Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA  95815
(916) 263-2389 phone
(916) 263-2387 fax

Hedy Chang, Vice Chair
Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA  95815
(916) 263-2389 phone
(916) 263-2387 fax

Susan Morrish
Midwifery Program Analyst
Medical Board of California
Phone: 916-263-2393
Fax: Ph:  916-263-8936

Other Medical Board Members:
Clarence H. Braddock, M.D.,
Neal Cohen, M.D.,
Daniel Giang, M.D.,
F. Allan Hubbell, M.D., M.S.P.H.,
James Nuovo, M.D.,
Neil Parker, M.D.,
Andrew Ries, M.D.,
Frank R. Sinatra, M.D.,
c/o Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA  95815
(916) 263-2389 phone
(916) 263-2387 fax

Medical Board Execute Staff:
Linda Whitney, Executive Director,
Kimberly Kirchmeyer, Deputy Director,
Dan Wood, Public Information Officer,
Curt Worden, Chief of Licensing,
Jennifer Simoes, Chief of Legislation,
Susan Morrish, Licensing,
c/o Medical Board of California
2005 Evergreen Street, Suite 1200
Sacramento, CA  95815
(916) 263-2389 phone
(916) 263-2387 fax

The Probation Office

I realized just today that I’ve failed to talk about the joys of probation in a while. I plan to remedy that today.

Once a month I am ordered to appear at one of about fifteen offices in Los Angeles county. I never was transferred to Orange County like they said and when I moved to LA county two months ago, they were happy to tell me I now can’t leave. Not even to visit family in Orange County. “I’m just trying to keep you safe” my probation officer told me.

I’ve only met my probation officer once. He was not assigned to me until months after my sentence, so the first (and only) time we laid eyes on each other, he was looking down at a paper that said that all of my probation requirements (save three days of CalTrans) were already completed. I’m assuming this is the reason they assigned me to an officer in Pasadena even though I live in Anaheim at the time.

“Don’t come see me unless I ask you to, y’hear?” he sternly warned me.

So, my monthly visits are with a machine, not a person.I try not to time it with my PMS. Not that the machine would really care.

The first day I appeared in the probation office I went to the central office on the corner of Crenshaw and Exposition. I waited an hour and a half to be seen and then was told I needed to repent.

After my sunday school lesson, the officer took my hand and placed it in a machine. A different machine than the lifescan one or the fingerprint one (yes… I’m all up in your tax funded system). This one had metal spokes sticking out that were supposed to (uncomfortably) direct your fingers.

I was instructed to stick my hand in one of these machines every month in the lobby. Seemed simple enough.

“Please insert your card…” it tells me. I know that every time I do it says “Your card cannot be read. Please insert your card…” So I have taken to pressing the button that says “No Card” and entering my x number by hand. I find it ironic that all of us criminals have “x” numbers. Like x marks the spot?  Or generation x? And, again.. this number is not my social security number, or the number assigned to me as a booking number when I was in jail. Or the number assigned to me for my court case. You’d think these departments could streamline things…

After I enter my x number I am told to insert my hand. Here’s where it gets interesting. I’ve kept some scientific data… of the eleven times I have had to report in (three times two months ago), the machine has failed to recognize my hand all but three times.

I mention the three times two months ago because I got tired of the systems achingly slow procedure and decided to leave the building before I could speak to someone. I figured I’d just try a different office to see if my hand would work in their machine. No such luck and the only time my PO has ever called me occurred about two weeks later.

“Ms. McCall… I have three incompletes here for you. This is not good. You have to check in when you are at the office.” I explained that the machine couldn’t recognize me. “That’s no matter. You MUST tell the clerk at the window and have a seat and wait for the officer of the day to come and see you. If not, you get an incomplete.”

I have not done this in the past because I know something he seems to think isn’t a big deal. Most probationers have a probation officer in the office they can see if there’s a problem. Because I have one in Pasadena (where there are no machines), I have to see the “officer of the day.” In layman’s terms, this means I could end up waiting ALL DAY LONG.

So this month, I walked into the Crenshaw probation office. I removed my belt, deposited my wallet and keys and belt in the little tray for the security officer an walked through the metal detector. The other officer used his wand because I beeped. Damn beeps. I think it was my bra. I was cleared as non-threatening and proceeded quickly to the “kiosk” to feed it my hand.

I entered my x-number like a pro and then the dreaded response to my hand “Your identification cannot be verified. Please notify the clerk.”

After waiting in line for 20 minutes, I notified the clerk, a very sweet woman with an obvious weave, some green braids and twice as long as my nose green and silver fingernails. “Honey… you gotsa wash your hands and try it again. Don’t come back here unless it says you can’t be reco’nized three times.”

Despite the fact that I know my hands are clean, I wash them in the grimey drug testing bathroom. Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat.

Still, the kiosk thinks I’m a stand-in.

“Ma’am… it still won’t take my hand.”

The woman’s sighs deeply. “What’s your x number? I’ll notify the officer of the day.”

I give it to her and grab the form she hands me that reports my presence. I have a seat in the plastic connected benches next to a woman who is thinner than my pinkie and wearing nothing more than a pair of biker shorts and a bra. She’s asleep, snoring loudly. The man in front of me is sporting a healthy plumber’s crack and a tattoo on the back of his neck that says “Freak.” The man behind me is three times my size. I don’t look at him but I can hear his heavy snores.

“Have you been arrested since your past checkin?”

“List all names and ages of minor children and all children living with you.”

“If you are required to report under Megan’s Law…”

I fill everything out in dull pencil. And then I sit. And wait. Time turns into molasses. People come and go. Everyone I sat down with is seen. But I am not.

I am invisible. A woman caught in a system that doesn’t know what to do with her. I barely can comprehend I am even here still… nine months later. Is this the bastard child I’ve borne?

Two and a half hours go by. Children cry. Gangsters cuss each other out over cell phones. P.O.s come and go. Every probation pays their homage of submission.

Still, nobody comes for the midwife.

Eventually… three hours… I’m on the verge of tears like I always am in this cold world of everyone is forgotten. I’m willing to risk being brow beaten by my own probation officer. I stop one last time at the clerk’s window.

There is a new, younger, less green woman working the window. I give her my x number and tell her I’m concerned I might have been forgotten.

“I don’t even see you on the list, honey. Have a seat. We didn’t even have you listed. Someone will see you real soon.”

Reluctantly, I sit again. This time I am sitting between a mother with a small snotty nosed child that is incredibly well behaved and an old gentleman with a cane. Within 15 minutes my name is called.

“McCall!” yells the thin officer, her hair in a to tight bun. I hand her the paper I filled out. “OK, thanks. You can go.”

No ID check, no fingerprints, no hand scan. Nothing. I’ve never seen this woman in my life. I waited over three hours for her to say she… didn’t even know if I was me?


On a Lighter Note

Business Partner Needed

We are a team of three hard-working and highly motivated individuals seeking a fourth partner to share our business in equal parts.

The current president is involved in a myriad highly detailed and far reaching projects which hold potential for a healthy profit over time. She is forthright, organized, energetic, creative and talented. She has been published and speaks regularly to the public and is a master of public relations and steering the company through scandal and governmental jealousy of business assets. She has many years of experience and yet is still often seen on the floor with her employees, working side by side with them. She has proven herself as one who is not only interested in their welfare, but also willing to go to great lengths to protect them form outside intrusion at all cost.

The current vice-president is keen at motivational speaking, managing company grievances and seeking advice from outside authority. She has developed a fine sense of compassion for those who visit the facilities during business hours and is involved in energetic promotions of the company’s ideas and products. Further, she is forever learning new ways of doing things and expanding the protocol to allow for growth.

The current manager of operations is precise and direct and maintains a strict discipline of the day to day tasks. He is a perfectionist with a strong ability to lead others. He daily promotes the ideas of self-ownership, responsibility and adherence to company policy above all other non-compliance and regulations which are not derived from the company itself. His strong hand and attention to justice and liberty within the workplace have helped to make it the success it is today.

We are seeking a fourth member of our team to establish a strong direction for future growth and make the business more profitable. Investment cost is minimal and only requires relocation. The ideal business partner will maintain his own vehicle, ideally a truck or other car that can transport company property from time to time. He will also be strong enough to carry some of the burden of heavier company assets as the current administration is unable to handle this aspect of the business on their own at times. He will also be skilled in various basic skilled labor techniques that the company is currently lacking (such as plumbing, building construction and vehicle mechanics). Lastly, he will be interested in assisting with the manufacturing and trading of company products (namely: produce, eggs, livestock and crafts) for the furtherance of company profit and sustainability.

The right candidate will maintain a strong sense of moral courage and adequate tenacity to shoulder the ups an downs of every day life. He will respect the rights of the other partners to hold their personal beliefs about religion, philosophy and culture while developing his own opinions and sharing them in a common exchange of mutual interest. His weekly tasks may include many hours of face to face time with the junior partners as the president seeks to mold them into better team players for future business as their partnership agreements are only short-term.

In exchange for these duties, the new partner will be handsomely beset with a position of honor and lodging, meals, laundry and room service will be included. His needs and desires will be considered as important business interests and he will be treated with respect. The president will also devote several hours per week in private interaction to ascertain that he is relaxed, rejuvenated and able to perform his position’s duties to the best of his bodily ability.

This partnership is a long-term position. The president requests that no official contracts be drawn up as she is a strong believer in mutual consent and desires to have no government involvement.

Phoenix Rising

Well, after all of that work, I dropped off of WordPress for over a month again. This time I just needed some time to sweat, garden, cry, dig, dance, and sweat some more. It’s been a grueling process. But just as I was about to dig myself into a little hole and never venture out with my outside of the box thinking again, I was given a bonfire of encouragement from Pete Eyre and his voluntaryist and libertarian friends.

I was so blown away to hear of all the stories they have to tell. My story is NOT unique. I just happen to have been involved with midwifery. So many other trades have been affected by the prosecution of victimless “criminals.”

Pete’s encouragement came right at a moment that I about cracked from the craziness of it all: the Medical Board of CA sent me a letter asking me to allow them to continue the hearing I must have before them (to decide if I will have my license revoked or be put on probation for eons). This was a request THEY made because they wanted to have the hearing next January 2013, not this June 2012 as scheduled. When my attorney agreed (hey… big deal… I can’t practice anyway, what does it matter to me?) they sent him the stipulation for me to sign.

In the stipulation, the wording said that I agreed that I had been found guilty of practicing negligently (something I was never even charged of!), that I agreed to have my license suspended (huh? Don’t I need a hearing before they decide that FOR me?) and that I promise not to be found in any place where “midwifery might be practiced” including employment, other than as a patient or the family member of a patient.


So, I asked my attorney to politely decline their continuation request. I may be tarred and feathered, but I’ll be damned if I’ll help them do it.

Oh! And in case you, like me, are wondering why I can’t just send them their silly paper and quit even TRYING to practice in the People’s Republic of California, there’s this regulation that keeps things from being that simple.

So my hearing is in six weeks. I’ll keep y’all updated on what happens, but my hopes aren’t high. Nothing about anything related to this process has produced anything but disillusionment in me. Which is a LOT for an idealist at heart to take. Especially one who was also a statist. Heck. I was basically a socialist until this whole thing started. Now I truly fear for the future of our country. We continue to encourage our publicly funded civil servants to make more and more and more rules and laws and regulations.

Oh, and my book will be out soon. Please order a copy if you haven’t. It is the first and only place that I have told my story. You can pre-order it here. The forward was written by Dr. Stuart Fischbein and the Appendix of action items was compiled with an introduction by Pete Eyre; Like two solid bookends on a very messy, emotional female memoir.

My appeal is also still in process… it’s a bit like watching hair grow and hope it doesn’t become ingrown in the process. I am so grateful to my appeals attorney. She rocks.

It’s Been a While

Life goes on. I’ve moved after finding some work under a rock and pushing it around a bit to make it grow.

I miss midwifery.

I’m planting a real life garden to help me process my philosophical one. There are lots of rocks in it and the weeds are outrageous.

I plan to warm baby chicks and eat their eggs when they are bigger. Happy Spring!

And I’m writing. Writing, writing, writing.

This book is done. Please order it.

And I’m working on another.

I still have three days of CalTrans. Apparently I’m not ready to be done with it. I will get to it during spring break and my kids can be cared for.

In the mean time, I’m still trying to swallow the pill I’ve been dealt. It’s monstrous. But there will be glory when I’m all done. And God is here to guide me.