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Thursday
May012008

When Gossip Becomes Slander/Libel

Gossip: a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others

Legal Definition of Slander: A type of defamation. Slander is an untruthful oral (spoken) statement about a person that harms the person's reputation or standing in the community. Because slander is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. If the statement is made via broadcast media -- for example, over the radio or on TV -- it is considered libel, rather than slander, because the statement has the potential to reach a very wide audience.

Definition of Libel: An untruthful statement about a person, published in writing or through broadcast media, that injures the person's reputation or standing in the community. Because libel is a tort (a civil wrong), the injured person can bring a lawsuit against the person who made the false statement. Libel is a form of defamation, as is slander (an untruthful statement that is spoken, but not published in writing or broadcast through the media).

It seems I have become a topic of conversation at the local California Association of Midwives’ meetings.

Two months in a row, a piece I wrote – and pulled – has been discussed. (Although now I am really tempted to put it back up!) The latest meeting’s public minutes had this statement. I didn’t edit it; this is how it was written.

Barbara’s blog….neg piece about LM’s …a physician is now using her statements in their state to ban LM’s in his state..navelgazingmidwife..

Now, the blog piece I wrote was seen as negative by some, but not by all Licensed Midwives. Sure, plenty commented their anger or frustration that I wrote that I felt LMs needed more education, but for goodness’ sake, it is my OPINION. And I am allowed my opinion.

One person who commented to the PULLED piece said a legislator had mentioned my blog during discussions of something or other, but, first of all, there is NO proof of that at all and second of all, my words did not help to “ban LM’s in his state” (whoever "he" is).

I am LIVID that a group of LMs, CPMs, students and supporters have gathered together TWICE discussing my piece (once again, a PULLED and then revised piece) and are putting out, in email and words, the implication that I am single-handedly destroying licensed midwifery.

Have they ever invited me to come speak about what I wrote? No.

And people wonder why I have issues with professionalism in Licensed and Certified Professional Midwifery; see Example A above.

Because it is apparent that my local community is reading my blog, I hereby demand that the California Association of Midwives and the local licensed midwives that have begun and perpetuated this libel cease and desist or I will bring charges against the lot of you.

And I have PROOF of who started this slander in a vile (and amusing) email by a local Licensed Midwife. She even said she was going to spread the word about my "true self."

Any emails or comments will be used in court. Keep your thoughts to yourselves, oh, local women who are yacking about me.