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Posted at 09:26 PM ET, 05/05/2011

Midwife accepts plea deal, the birth debate rages

Karen Carr, the well-known Baltimore midwife whose prosecution in connection with an Alexandria baby’s death triggered a passionate debate about home births, was convicted of two felonies yesterday in Alexandria Circuit Court.

Carr pleaded guilty to both child endangerment and practicing without a license in Virginia when the baby died last year. She accepted a plea agreement that bars her from practicing in Virginia. But it allows her to avoid the lengthy prison sentence she faced.

The agreement brings to an end an episode that inflamed supporters of home births and inspired equally as angry a reaction among those who prefer hospital births. Much of the debate took place online. Carr supporters created a Facebook page where many mothers recounted personal stories of home births and also contributed toward Carr’s defense fund. More than 1,400 people have ”liked” the page.

Meanwhile, a slew of bloggers criticized those parents who try to avoid medical intervention in their deliveries, especially parents — such as those who lost their baby with Carr — who face a high-risk delivery.

Few decisions are more personal than childbirth. At the same time, few childbirths go as planned. Though the Carr case seemed to drive parents to either the Home camp or the Hospital camp, now that the dust clears perhaps we can see some middle ground.

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By  |  09:26 PM ET, 05/05/2011

 
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