To the Editor:

We as clients and friends of Elizabeth Catlin are responding to a false statement that was included in a report issued by the New York State Police following her arrest two weeks ago. The accusation that she was exploiting Mennonite women couldn't be further from the truth. Elizabeth has always been a kind, caring person, like a mother to us. Whenever we called with questions or concerns, she would take time out of her busy day to talk with us. She is a respected and needed lady in our community.

We understand that Elizabeth is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), and although she does not have the college degrees required to be a NYS Licensed Midwife, we understand that the CPM certification is recognized for home birth practice by 30 other states.

This level of education is completely acceptable to us as her clients. It is of utmost importance to us to be able to continue to receive her educated, experienced care as our birth attendant in our homes.

With all due respect to our medical healthcare system, this subject brings to mind recent studies which indicate a rise in mother/baby fatalities following childbirth in U.S. hospitals. The studies show that the rate of childbirth related deaths in U.S. hospitals is approximately five times higher than that of hospitals in Canada. Studies indicate that negligence by hospital staff in monitoring patients' conditions may be the primary cause of the rise in fatalities. (Democrat & Chronicle, August 2018).

We encourage the NYS Police and the District Attorney to cease action against Catlin so our community can avoid an interruption in receiving her responsible, professional services.

ELIAS and KAYLENE HOOVER

Penn Yan

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