Here is a link to commentary by Judith Rooks, CNM, also a CDC-trained epidemiologist, regarding the status of out-of-hospital births in Oregon in 2012. The statistics themselves are horrid, but her commentary is what I want to highlight.
"But out-of-hospital births are not as safe as births in hospitals in Oregon, where many of them are attended by birth attendants who have not completed an educational curriculum designed to provide all the knowledge, skills and judgment needed by midwives who practice in any setting."
"Many of them" she says. Not a few. Not some. Many.
To those who make comments about babies dying in the hospital, she addresses you, too:
"There are very few term IP (intrapartum) fetal deaths in the hospital. Most fetuses in prolonged distress are delivered by cesarean section. Estimated rate of IP fetal deaths is 0.1-0.3 from the authoritative literature, based on studies in Canada and Europe. Data on all term fetal deaths cannot be substituted for IP fetal deaths."
She also points out that while she removed one baby from the stats that had congenital anomalies, those babies are not removed from the hospital statistics.
I'd love to see Judith Rooks have a national job doing this for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Think we could gather enough money to hire her?