Indra Lusero, Esq., (Director, President) works as an organizer, trainer, and lawyer practicing family formation and regulatory law in Colorado. Indra’s publications include “Challenging Hospital VBAC Bans Through Tort Liability” and “Making the Midwife Impossible: How the Structure of Maternity Care Harms the Practice of Home Birth Midwifery.” Indra went to law school after attending a MANA conference in 2005 where folks lamented not having a “hot shot team of lawyers” who could help defend midwives. Indra has endeavored to develop just such a team.
Deborah Fisch, J.D., (Director, Vice President) is affiliated with the University of Michigan Program for Sexual Rights and Reproductive Justice. Her professional interests include the role of medical malpractice liability in determination of standard of care; the legal maternal-fetal relationship in pregnancy, labor and childbirth; regulation of out-of-hospital birth attendants and protocols for their interaction with in-hospital providers; and evolving access to maternity care under the ACA. These topics are the subject of her blog and accompanying Facebook page, Mama's Got a Plan. She actively advocates for licensure of Certified Professional Midwives in Michigan. Deborah earned her AB in Linguistics from the University of Michigan and her JD from Wayne State University Law School.
Tara N. Gaston, Secretary
Tara N. Gaston, J.D., (Director, Secretary) is a founding member of the Birth Rights Bar Association, currently serving as Communications Director. Professionally focusing on medical malpractice, access to healthcare, and individual liberties and human rights with respect to maternal and child health, she is completing a Master’s in Public Health in order to inform her advocacy. Tara is also using her experience as a parent of four and as the partner to an active-duty submariner to advocate for military members and their families, particularly with respect to family creation and recognition.
Jacqueline Kay Hammack, Treasurer
Jacqueline Kaye Hammack, J.D., (Director, Treasurer) is a movement lawyer practicing in Mississippi and Louisiana. A new mother, Jacqui has been empowered by her experiences with midwifery care and mothering through breastfeeding to expand her practice beyond her comfort zone in family law. Her professional interests include the human rights associated with the breastfeeding relationship; racial disparities in access to evidence-based maternity care; the intersections of bodily autonomy, informed consent, dignity, and respect in the delivery of maternity care; and the socio-legal determinants of maternal and infant health. Passion for these issues motivates Jacqui’s efforts to advance the rights of mother-baby dyads in pregnancy, birth, and the “fourth trimester” postpartum.
Susan M. Jenkins, Honorary Board Member
Susan M. Jenkins has been an advocate for birth rights, with a focus on access to midwifery care, for over thirty years. She has served as legal counsel for the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC), the Big Push for Midwives Campaign (which she co-founded in 2007), various state midwifery and birth rights organizations, and numerous individual clients. She is a partner in The Sanchez Law Firm, P.C., which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Susan is a charter member and co-founder of Texans for Midwifery, and served as counsel during the initial development of the consumer group Where’s My Midwife? She is also co-founder, with Rebecca Spence, of the birthlawyers list-serve and the Legal Advocates for Birth Options and Rights (“LABOR”) Facebook page, pre-cursors of the Birth Rights Bar Association, and is a member of Human Rights in Childbirth, and served as co-counsel on amicus briefs filed on behalf of the Missouri Midwives Association, ACNM, AABC, and the parents’ appeal in the custody litigation in the New Jersey c-section informed refusal case. She was also instrumental in the development and implementation of federal legislation to mandate Medicaid payment for freestanding birth centers, so that lower-income women could have access to birth center midwife care. Susan is a graduate of Columbia University School of Law (J.D., 1977) and Hunter College, City University of New York (B.A. 1974). She is married to her law partner, Ernest T. Sanchez, and has one daughter and fourgrandchildren (midwife-attended), and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Lynn M. Paltrow, Honorary Board Member
Lynn M. Paltrow, J.D., is the Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). Ms. Paltrow is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law. As Executive Director of NAPW, Ms. Paltrow combines legal advocacy, public education, grassroots and national organizing, research, and policy work to secure the human and civil rights, health and welfare of all women, focusing particularly on pregnant and parenting women, and those who are most vulnerable to state control and punishment – low income women, women of color, and drug-using women. She is a frequent guest lecturer and writer for popular press, law reviews, and peer-reviewed journals. Ms. Paltrow is also a Gemini and mother of twins.