Happy Valentine’s Day! (and Happy Birthday, CIC!)

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Happy Valentine’s Day to You and Happy Birthday to Choices in Childbirth!

At the close of this surprisingly lovely, spring-like Valentine’s Day in NYC, I’m flashing back to a similarly cold but sunny day precisely 7 years ago when Choices in Childbirth organized its first public action in Union Square.  We were responding to ACOG’s statement in support of elective c-sections, a position that was framed in terms of a woman’s right to choose her mode of delivery while completely overlooking a providers obligation to inform her of the very real dangers associated with this choice (not to mention her lack of choice should she want to birth vaginally with subsequent pregnancies).    We had no idea what we were doing that sunny February day nor where it would lead us, we simply knew that we had to do something.  To our delight, birth practitioners, activists, and families showed up in Union Square from all corners of the city (New Jersey too! ) and have continued over the last seven years to show up and stand with us for women, babies and safe, healthy maternity care options for all.

Seven years later, I’m amazed to see how Choices in Childbirth has matured into a fully realized organization that is at the forefront of birth advocacy work, both locally and nationally.  I’m so proud of our journey and so grateful to everyone who has helped to get us here!   2010 was especially busy as we took on our first Executive Director, built out a dedicated board of directors, and took our programming to the next level by launching our national on-line database of Mother-friendly providers.  We were involved in educating consumers and the media about the Midwifery Modernization Act as well as many other advocacy projects.  We continue in 2011 to produce free, annual birth guides for NYC (20,000 copies), Philly (5,000) and nationally (60-90,000 copies).   We continue to offer free monthly classes to expectant parents and are very actively engaged in advocacy work to expand women’s birthing options across the city.

I want to invite all of you to our first big fundraising event/party on May 9th, the Monday after Mother’s Day!  The Concert for a Healthy Birth will be hosted by Ricki Lake with performances by stars from Broadway and Beyond.  We are thrilled to be honoring women’s health pioneer, Dr. Christiane Northrup, with our inaugural Labor of Love Award!  It’s going to be an amazing and really fun celebration!  I hope that you will join us.  We will be sending out and posting more information in the next week.

As this lovely Valentine’s Day draws to a close, all of us at Choices in Childbirth offer all of you a big open-hearted thank you for seven blessed years!!  Together we are making a difference.   We are agents of change.  We will create a reality where women and their birthing bodies are respected and honored and where the birth of every child is treated with the reverence that is the birthright of each and every one of us.

With a heart full of gratitude,

Elan

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One Response to “Happy Valentine’s Day! (and Happy Birthday, CIC!)”

  1. nyrie roos Says:

    You are doing amazing work – keep it going

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