Women voice support for midwife facing charge

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 24, 2011

By Shavonne Potts
A Yadkin County woman charged in February with unauthorized practice of midwifery made a first appearance in court on Wednesday.
While Emily “Amy” Hyatt Medwin, 56, of East Bend, was in district court alongside her attorney, James Davis, as supporters gathered outside on the Rowan County Courthouse steps.
Women wearing blue T-shirts with the words Legalize Midwifery, stood on the steps of the courthouse, some with their children in tow. According to a Facebook group page, “I support Amy Medwin Tshirt fundraiser” the shirts are for sale to bring about awareness and the money will go toward Medwin’s defense fund. There were more than a dozen people gathered to show support.
Medwin was charged after the death of an infant in western Rowan County.
According to a Rowan County Sheriff’s Office report, officials at Rowan Regional Medical Center reported an infant death on Jan. 20. A detective learned the baby had been born at a Sherrills Ford Road home. The infant was dead at birth.
Detectives found that Medwin had given prenatal care to the family several times during the pregnancy, and that Medwin is not licensed to practice in North Carolina. Medwin admitted to authorities she was not licensed to practice in this state, only Virginia.
The family told a Post reporter they did not blame Medwin.
Medwin was scheduled next to appear in court April 26.
A Facebook message posted two weeks ago by the Commonwealth Midwives Alliance (CMA) asked for people to attend court to support Medwin. Some people noted on the page they would attend.
Also the N.C. Friends of Midwives have also thrown their support behind Medwin by posting on their website a call to help with her defense fund. A press release was sent out Monday.
Certified Professional Midwives are recognized in nearly 30 states, but North Carolina isn’t one of them. This state currently allows only certified nurse midwives, who must attend nursing school, to practice.
Medwin will also be in a Mecklenburg County court next month for regulation of midwifery and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.
Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.