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Lay Midwives “Retire”

Lay Midwives “Retire”

(p.125) Chapter 14 Lay Midwives “Retire”
Delivered by Midwives
Jenny M. Luke
University Press of Mississippi

The elimination of midwifery was finally achieved when many states across the South passed legislation prohibiting lay midwifery practice. Chapter 14 uses the personal experience of lay midwives to explore various methods employed by state boards of health to control the activity of midwives and enforce retirement. As the evidence shows, the economic marketplace of childbirth became a factor in some physicians’ interactions with lay midwives; for others commitment and mutual respect rescinded state legislation for a while. For some lay midwives their duty to serve eclipsed any legal restriction.

Keywords:   Retirement, Elimination of midwifery, Economic marketplace, Prohibition of midwifery, Duty to serve

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