Five local women have written letters to Finger Lakes News Radio in support of a Penn Yan woman arrested last week and charged with unauthorized practice of a profession.
52-year old Elizabeth Catlin is facing charges after troopers say she illegally posed as a midwife for Mennonite community.
Under state law, midwives in New York are required to be licensed. A joint investigation by troopers and the state’s Education Department’s Office of Professional Discipline found that Catlin had been posing as a Midwife for many years helping pregnant women within the Mennonite community, in and around the Penn Yan area.
I am writing in response to the article “Penn Yan woman arrested for posing as midwife for many years.” Elizabeth Catlin assisted me in labor and delivery, and I was extremely thankful and blessed to have her help and experience during such a special time. Her intuitive motherly care was exactly what I needed to have the best birth experience possible. There was absolutely no exploitation, as the article also (ridiculously) claims. I was appalled to learn of the nature of the arrestment; Mrs Catlin was pulled roughly from her home in front of her children in November with no shoes on. This is a woman with no previous record, no violent history. I cannot stand behind actions like that, especially knowing the more typical procedure would have been just summoning her to court.
In conclusion, I hope that each person reading this will see past the accusations in the original article and understand that this woman does not deserve such harsh treatment and slander against her. A stranger wrote that headline, and one of the “exploited women” (who to clarify, adamantly rejects that title) who knows Elizabeth Catlin personally is writing this letter.
I am writing in response to an article you published last week regarding Elizabeth Catlin and the charge brought against her by the NYS Department of Education of unauthorized practice of a profession.
The article was sensationalist, poorly researched, and misleading. Elizabeth supported and assisted me through my first labor and delivery and provided valuable aid after the unexpectedly rapid and unassisted birth of my second child. The statement in the article purporting that Elizabeth exploits women could not be further from my experience. As a woman and former doula who has assisted a number of women through childbirth in the past I found Elizabeth’s presence and assistance to be of great value and comfort at these important times.
I feel privileged to have had Elizabeth assist me at these times and feel that she is a great asset to those she serves and to her community as a whole.
November 19, 2018
As I woman with family ties to the local Mennonite community, and as an advocate for home births, having had three myself, I am writing in regards to the article, “Penn Yan Woman Faces Charges for Unauthorized Practicing of Midwifery”, written by Howard Thompson and posted online November 15, 2018.
In that article, it is stated: “Catlin had been posing as a Midwife for many years and primarily exploiting pregnant women within the Mennonite community, in and around the Penn Yan area.” Exploitation, by definition is: The action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work. I was outraged when I read that article. Perhaps it is time that the women she “exploited” are given a chance to speak. It was in complete confidence of her skill and abilities that I requested Catlin assist with labor and delivery of all three of my children. The care I received was professional and personal. Not once was I treated unfairly; not once did she try to benefit from my state. My experience was absolutely wonderful.
However, I would argue that the opposite could be said of that vague and narrow news article, which leads the reader to assume we were victims, preyed on by someone of evil intent. I was not being led blindly. Catlin never posed as someone she was not. There is no one else I would rather have assist me through labor and delivery. The only exploitation I have felt was from that sketchy news article and the comments that followed on Facebook, assuming that since I am of Mennonite background I am an uneducated and vulnerable victim, the prime target for exploitation.
To get a more balanced view, let our voices be heard!
November 19, 2018
To all those who believe in Freedom,
I am writing this because I was so incredibly upset to see a woman, (Elizabeth Catlin) that I so highly value and respect, be so incredibly misjudged by the media and so-called “investigators”. Home-births have been happening since time began. It is the way my husband and I have welcomed three of our four children and we wouldn’t want it any other way.
At my request, Elizabeth Catlin assisted with delivery at several of my births, she was very knowledgeable, skilled and professional. To read in the news article that she was “exploiting” the Mennonites who love her so much and have trusted her for years, not only insults the intelligence of every Mennonite but also insults myself and every one of my friends who have chosen to invite Elizabeth into our homes to assist with the delivery of our children.
So my teenager can choose to have an abortion without my knowledge and consent, but I can’t invite the woman of my choice to assist at my child’s birth???
Wake up America!!!
Sincerely, Amy Miller
I’m writing in regards to the recent article published, “Penn Yan woman arrested for posing as midwife for many years.”
Upon reading the article I was shocked and appalled at the gross misrepresentation of what I know Elizabeth Catlin to be. Having hoped for a birth experience contrastingly different from those offered by hospitals where moms can feel like victims to other people’s agenda, I was relieved and delighted to find Elizabeth Catlin to assist me in my 2 home births. She was professional, intuitive, and gentle. Because of her I was able to have the peaceful and beautiful home births I always hoped for.
I know without a doubt that Elizabeth Catlin has never wronged anybody but has been a tremendous asset to this community.
Sincerely, Ruth Brechbill