The Campaign to Save the North Shore Birth Center

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[The Boston Globe’s coverage of our November campaign to save NSBC was critically helpful. The below message is re-posted from Paul Levy’s blog as a show of support. We do not want to see the Globe go under!]

We have all read recently about the threat of possible closure faced by the Boston Globe. A number of Boston-based bloggers who care about the continued existence of the Globe have banded together in conducting a blog rally. We are simultaneously posting this paragraph to solicit your ideas of steps the Globe could take to improve its financial picture:

We view the Globe as an important community resource, and we think that lots of people in the region agree and might have creative ideas that might help in this situation. So, here’s your chance. Please don’t write with nasty comments and sarcasm: Use this forum for thoughtful and interesting steps you would recommend to the management that would improve readership, enhance the Globe’s community presence, and make money. Who knows, someone here might come up with an idea that will work, or at least help. Thank you.

(P.S. If you have a blog, please feel free to reprint this item and post it. Likewise, if you have a Twitter or Facebook account, please add this url as an update or to your status bar to help us reach more people.)


What an amazing day.  If any one had any doubt that we as citizens can influence our community, today was proof positive that we can and have made a difference.  The rally was a great success – although the proposal to cease births at the Birth Center is still on the table, the vote was postponed, as our group demonstrated just how important the North SHore Birth Center is to our community, and that this proposal needs to be more closely scrutinized. 

I overslept – one of the hazards of having a recent Birth Center baby at home :).  I woke up at 5:30 – just when I had planned to leave my house in Boxford.  Amazingly, I managed to nurse Bridger, and bundle both of us up in half an hour.  We arrived at the rally at 6:35, and it was such a thrill to see the sidewalk in front of the hospital packed with families!  As I drove up to park on a side street, I was even more encouraged to see all of the local news crews out to cover our event.  Bridger and I settled in with a sign.  The mood was festive, drivers passing by as a whole were so supportive – lots of beeps and thumbs up.  There were easily over 100 people present by the time the Board began arriving.  Several people were interviewed, myself included, and later at home I watched as we were covered on all the local news stations.  We also had speakers – including the first woman to birth at NSBC – what an inspiration to see not only the new birth center babies – but grown adults carrying ‘Birth Center Baby’ signs.  The group did then walk onto the hospital property, only to be told by the administration to leave.  Our wonderful midwives had food and coffee at the birth center, but unfortunately there was a security person standing out front to keep rally participants out.  I was told that only patients could be on the property – but I still get my well woman care there, so…  Several of us did get by to warm-up and nurse our kids – thank you midwives for having goodies for us!  I got home just in time for the noon news. 

What a fun day – although I would have loved for the propsal to have been denied outright, this was a major victory.  We were heard, we made a positive impression on the Board, and we have brought awareness and attention to such important health issues.  Because protecting birth options is not just a woman’s issue – this is a family issue and community concern.  My sincere thanks to the Steering comittee, and to all those who wrote letters, picketed last week, and showed up this morning in the cold.  Let’s keep up this good work!!

Many thanks to Tabitha Sherrell, a professional photographer and Campaign member who documented our rally today! She posted several great shots on her blog this afternoon. They’re fantastic! Check them out here.

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


Please help us in one or more of the following areas! There are only 6 days left until the Board votes on the fate of the North Shore Birth Center!

Daily Picketing:

Small groups will picket peacefully in front of the North Shore Birth Center every day from Tuesday, November 11 through Monday, November 17. This will be to show our support for the birth center and also raise awareness of the hospital’s move to circumscribe the birth center’s services.Let’s picket daily in the morning and at lunchtime. Bring posters and your kids, if you’d like. We especially need more people for the morning shifts on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday (11/12-11/14) and Monday(11/17). Contact Christa Terry at 978-922-4970 or e-mail her at: christadterry AT gmail DOT com to sign up for a shift, or for more details!

The Big Rally:

Let’s show our support in numbers and make this a HUGE gathering! Children welcome! Bring your signs! We’ll begin gathering around 6 a.m. on November 18 outside the North Shore Birth Center (arrive no later than 6:30am). The Board of Trustees meets at 7 a.m. that morning. We want to be there as they arrive on the hospital campus. PLEASE join us! Contact us for more info. SaveTheNorthShoreBirthCenter AT gmail DOT com

Poster-Making Parties:

Join us to make posters for our picketing efforts and rally!


Brainstorming Meeting:

Concerned consumers, caring birth professionals and interested members of the public attended a brainstorming session at Crunchy Granola Baby in Salem, MA on Sunday, November 9 at 10am.

At that meeting, we discussed the letter-writing campaign, petitions, and other efforts and plans for a rally before the November 18 Board of Trustees meeting.

Letter-Writing Gathering

A group of concerned citizens came together to write letters in support of the North Shore Birth Center on Sunday, November 9th at 1:00 p.m. in the Parish House adjoining the Orthodox Congregational Church of Lanesville, 1120 Washington St., Gloucester, MA.

July 2018
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