Karen Ehrlich began attending births as a doula in 1974, then apprenticed with a midwife for just one year before her mentor sent her out on her own. The Supreme Court in California had declared pregnancy to be a “condition,” making midwives vulnerable to prosecution for practicing medicine without a license. Ehrlich was active in the movement to decriminalize midwifery in California in the late seventies. She helped write three bills that were not enacted; a fourth finally passed in 1990. Later Ehrlich obtained a masters degree from Goddard College, where she wrote her thesis, Life is a Sexually Transmitted Condition: The Sexuality of Labor and Birth. For more information, visit karenehrlich.org.
This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!