Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely not! Many doctors, midwives, and nurses make great sacrifices to deliver patient-centered, respectful care. The only thing this film opposes is abuse against birthing people. We all should be able to agree that any incidence of abuse against a laboring woman is unacceptable.
We hear privately from dedicated medical professionals around the country who are afraid to speak out about what they see and live with. Doctors and nurses are traumatized, too! They themselves are dealing with the effects of abusive training, pressures from a system that is not centered around patients, unprocessed job-related trauma, vertical and horizontal violence in the workplace, skewed liability incentives, and unrealistic workloads. We envision a realignment of incentives that allows our best care providers to lead the system, instead of fight against it.
>>> We also should examine the assumption that it’s radical and antagonistic to center women’s voices without expert filters. <<< We can’t create a solution without defining the problem, and how can we define the problem if we don’t listen to our most important stakeholders: the people actually giving birth?Last updated:
The verdict was amazing -- “Woman Wins $16 Million” sends a powerful message about birth abuse -- but that doesn’t mean Caroline personally walked away with that much money. By going through litigation and putting her story out to a jury, Caroline chose to hold the hospital and medical staff accountable in a very public way. She did this with the full knowledge that she could lose the case, but she felt a duty to herself, her family, and to any woman who has suffered abuse in the birth room. Her lawsuit took three grueling years, and lawyers, along with expert witnesses, must be paid. In Alabama, lawyers win only about one out of ten medical malpractice cases; therefore, they typically require up to one-half of jury awards.
Primarily, however, and one of the reasons she won such a significant amount, is that she must pay for a lifetime of future medical expenses for her serious injury. Insurance doesn't cover many of her treatments, and this alone adds up to millions of dollars over her lifetime. These numbers don’t include the unquantifiable cost of pain and suffering, inability to have more children, and the permanent loss of sexual life.
This being said, Caroline has chosen to create and invest a significant amount of money into a non-profit, The Birth Monopoly Foundation, run by Cristen Pascucci. This is Caroline's way of paying forward all of the support that allowed her to get the justice she deserved, thanks in large part to Cristen, and in hopes that no woman ever has to undergo trauma in the birth room ever again.
It's also really important that other people are able to contribute to the making of the film. It helps build community, show distributors that people are passionate about this topic (which helps increase our chances of getting an awesome distribution path), and gets everyone excited and on board for the release of the full documentary.Last updated:
We will not compromise in our belief that women have the human and legal right to be fully informed and autonomous decision makers in birth. A system that recognizes these rights empowers both birthing people and their medical providers. We believe that such a system is possible, and our film explores solutions to what that looks like and how we get there.
We've already seen that a broken system won't fix itself. We know that consumer demand is one of the most effective ways to create external pressure and realign incentives within any industry. With this film, we will harness the power of the consumer voice to facilitate the rapid social change that only comes from public outcry.
>>> Don't forget that throughout April and May, Birth Monopoly is hosting a Mother May I Series of free webinars, articles, and podcasts on birth trauma, obstetric violence, and legal rights! For more information, you can go to www.facebook.com/birthmonopolyLast updated:
Ultimately, bringing awareness to any social justice issue means digging up old traumas, memories, and feelings. This is part of the healing process. Triggers give us an opportunity to give attention to where we need healing.
To those who find this particular project triggering, we want you to know we feel deeply alongside you; each of us on the production team is carrying our own trauma about this topic, too. We encourage you to find support and seek healing in whatever way is right for you. We will be sharing free resources over April and May that you may find helpful as part of Birth Monopoly's Mother May I Series of webinars, articles, and podcasts on topics like birth trauma. For more information, you can go to www.facebook.com/birthmonopolyLast updated:
This film is about choice and respect regardless of birth setting. As Cristen says, "I literally do not care how you give birth. As long as you are respected and supported."
One size does not fit all. Every birth is unique and people have different needs and wants. We see it as equally problematic when a person giving birth is misinformed and coerced into interventions they don't want as when they are denied wanted pain medication or afraid to seek medical treatment they need.
We hope that hospitals will open their ears and minds to what women are saying so that trust can be restored. We also believe this film will illuminate why community-based midwifery and out-of-hospital options are absolutely essential to a healthy maternity care system and the diverse group of individuals within it.Last updated:
We are still exploring options for distribution of our film, so can’t make plans for screenings at this time.Last updated:
- Online video course from Cristen Pascucci
- Currently part of the required curriculum for Evidence Based Birth ® Instructors
- Worth 1.5 nursing contact hours (can be used by most doula and CBE certifications)
- Created for birth workers and advocates
- Includes discussion on: human and legal rights in childbirth; informed consent and refusal; common violations; hospital policy, liability, consent forms; maternal-fetal conflict; enforcement of rights; recent important lawsuits; and solutions + bonus video of three plaintiffs talking about bringing their lawsuits after surviving obstetric violence
- Group license means it can be shown in the group setting of your choiceLast updated:
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