The Campaign to Save the North Shore Birth Center

Archive for November 2008

Get ready for the rally – Tuesday, 6:15am!!!

Gather with us to ask the Board of Trustees to hear our pleas to save the North Shore Birth Center! This will be a peaceful, non-confrontational gathering to show our community support of the Birth Center and its commitment to safe, natural birth.

We are expecting hundreds of supporters, and we have some great speakers lined up (including Marci Anthony, the first person to give birth at the North Shore Birth Center). Bring all your friends and family! Children welcome!

Based on the response we have received about the Rally, we are now asking people to arrive in the area promptly by 6:15am, allowing yourself enough time to park on side streets and walk over to the Herrick Street sidewalk in front if the hospital grounds.  Board members meet at 7 a.m. and we want them to see our HUGE crowd as they arrive!


  • Consider bringing your own sign, backed by cardboard if possible, with messages such as “Save the Birth Center” (or come up with your own!)
  • Consider making a t-shirt that reads “Birth Center Baby” for any babes/kids who will be joining you who were born at the Birth Center. Make it large, to fit over warm outerwear!


  • Dress warmly – forecast is for 30 degree temps in the morning.
  • Park on surrounding street, NOT on hospital grounds.
  • Children are very welcome, but watch them closely on this busy street!
  • Gather on the Herrick Street sidewalk, NOT on hospital grounds.
  • Check in when you arrive. Organizers will be holding ballons to identify them.


Curbside parking is available on many of the residential streets near the hospital.  Possibilities include Heather St, Story Ave (from Henderson to Colon), and Henderson Ave.  The side streets between Cabot Street and Sohier Road are also an option, including Lymnan St, Mason St, and Swan St.  Please DO NOT park on hospital property.


  • BE THERE, with as many friends and relatives as possible!
  • SHARE this rally information with all who might be interested.
  • BRING cash to help cover our expenses. We’ve fronted over $1200 towards this effort so far and could use your help! We’ll have a “Karma Kan” there to accept your cash. (P.S. Thank you SO much to those who’ve already contributed!)
  • BRING your own SIGN. (We will have some to share but the more the better!)
  • VOLUNTEER to help with crowd control at the rally. Email Deb (cleansehhc at aol dot com) and Annalisa (annalisa underscore walker at hotmail dot com) to sign up. Men especially encouraged!
  • INVENT CHEERS in support of the Birth Center.
  • LEAD CHEERS during the rally.
  • BRING something FUN to share with some of the KIDS at the rally (suggestions: cups of cocoa or cider, sidewalk chalk, stickers, “Birth Center Baby” signs).
  • FLOOD THE MEDIA with tips today. Tip lines listed below.


Help us get the word out to the media that this rally is taking place! SEND NEWS TIPS TO:

The Globe:

The Herald:



WHDH Boston: 1-800-280-TIPS / /




Daily Item of Lynn:

Daily News of Newburyport: (Sonya Vartabedian )

Gloucester Daily Times: (Raymond Lamont) / (Jeff Pope) / 978-283-7000

Peabody & Lynnfield Weekly News: (Robert Curtin) / 978-532-5880

You can find the info for the various cnc papers at
(click on Towns & Newspapers, then select the town, and ‘contact us’)

Skirt!: Alison O’Leary Murray, Editor

Phoenix: Send letters to the editor, press releases, and article commentary to


River 92.5:


The American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) has passed along this great letter [PDF] they’ve sent to the Northeast Health Corporation’s Board of Trustees, in support of NSBC.

A big THANK YOU to AABC for advocating on behalf of all of us!picture-9picture-10picture-11

Even though this morning’s picketing shift was a little dicey — it rained, then stopped, then rained, then stopped, etc. — we did have four grownups and two little ones out there in the wet. We survived, the signs survived…but I’m not sorry that I suggested people stay home.

Just so you know, picketing is still happening, and we’re still getting plenty of positive attention from hospital staff and community members in the forms of honks, waves, smiles, and the occasional request for more info.

Here are two of the picketing pictures that recently appeared in the Danvers Herald and the Boston Globe:

Picketing to save the North Shore Birth Center

Picketing to save the North Shore Birth Center

A photog from the Globe came out to yesterday’s lunchtime picketing session, and the picture she took is in today’s Boston Globe along with an accompanying article written by Kay Lazar and Steven Rosenberg.

Here’s a highlight:

The controversy comes amid a larger debate in the medical and legal communities about maternity care and high medical malpractice insurance premiums paid by hospitals and doctors. Concern about malpractice lawsuits has prompted physicians nationwide to become hyper-cautious, and that has driven up the numbers nationwide of more controlled, caesarean section births.

But C-sections can expose women to serious complications, according to studies cited in a Nov. 11 letter to trustees and cosigned by Eugene Declercq, a professor at the Boston University School of Public Health.

“Defensive practices in obstetrics unfortunately have encouraged practices that evidence shows are harmful or provide no benefits,” stated the letter, which urged board members to keep the center open.

The MOMformation blog at BabyCenter has picked up our story!

A spokesperson from the birth center stated that “As with other birth centers around the nation, North Shore Birth Center is experiencing a significant rise in the cost of malpractice insurance premiums.” It appears that this is what’s driving the discussions of possible closure.

How important is it to you that facilities like the North Shore Birth Center are available to women? Is this a cause that you would support – if not in-person, than via the social networking tools that are available to us now?

Drop by BabyCenter, read the post, comment on it, and let jamie lee know that we appreciate her sharing our story!

At this morning’s picket, just before security very politely asked us to move to Herrick Street at Beverly Hospital’s main entrance entrance, a reporter from the Beverly Citizen took the picketer’s photos and info. Hopefully we’ll see some smiling faces and birth-positive signs in the next issue.

Picketing makes for a great photo/film op, so get in touch with your local paper or news network (if you haven’t already) and let them know when you, a resident with an important opinion about the community, will be outside with a sign!

We have some great plans leading up to the November 18 Board of Trustees meeting. Please consider helping our cause by serving as a volunteer coordinator for one of the following areas:

  • Poster making
  • Flyer distribution
  • Picketing efforts
  • The Nov. 18 rally

Volunteer coordinators would need to be available by phone and email to guide the efforts of those volunteering to execute the above tasks.

To learn more, please email us at SaveTheNorthShoreBirthCenter AT gmail DOT com. Thanks!

November 2008
    Dec »