See recommended books by BRBA members and others! BRBA's own guide, Pushed and Consented, is available on the Resources page.
Indra Wood Lusero, Esq., (Director, President) is a Staff Attorney with National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and Founder of Elephant Circle, a Colorado-based birth justice organization. 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) writes and cartoons at Mama's Got a Plan on the topics of maternity care, midwifery care, and rights in childbirth. She maintains a small solo practice in Michigan dedicated to defense of nurses and midwives against state disciplinary board charges. She actively advocates for licensure of Certified Professional Midwives and was appointed to her state Board of Licensed Midwifery to draft rules for Michigan Licensed Midwives.
Jacqueline Kaye Hammack, J.D., (Director, Treasurer) is a movement lawyer and full-spectrum doula working in Mississippi and Louisiana. Jacqui was empowered by her own experiences with midwifery care and mothering through breastfeeding to expand her practice beyond her comfort zone in family law and cultivate a reproductive justice practice. She works to support and promote the civil and human rights that are unique to the relationships of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and daily caregiving of very young children. Jacqui's practice is centered on advancing the rights of mother-baby dyads in pregnancy, birth, and through the vulnerable, transcendent, indelible years of matrescence and early childhood. Through a variety of contexts and initiatives – from hands-on birth and postpartum support to legal advocacy – she endeavors to ameliorate the injustices suffered by mother-baby dyads in the kyriarchy of the American republic.
Maria Laura Jeanrenaud (Director) received her initial law degree from the University of Buenos Aires and subsequently practiced labor law in Argentina. She holds a Masters in International and European Law from the University of Geneva and worked for the United Nations World Food Programme. Maria Laura is interested in issues of violence against women and in particular, violence committed by health care providers - including unnecessary interventions - during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. Maria Laura is passionate about pregnant and birthing women’s fundamental rights and is convinced that health care providers must recognize and support women's agency in this regard. Maria Laura gave birth to her two children at home, assisted by midwives. Driven by both her professional and personal background, Maria Laura is committed to striving for gender equality by advancing human rights in the childbearing year.
Colleen Campbell, J.D. is a PhD candidate in Sociology and African American studies at Princeton University. Colleen’s work lies at the intersection of law, medicine and bioethics. She employs intersectionality, critical race theory and critical constructivist lenses to study how law and medicine institute and reinforce systems of hierarchy and domination in the medical context. Her current projects examine stratified reproduction, racial disparities in obstetric and gynecological procedures, and informed consent in birth.
Colleen is a product of community midwifery care in her hometown of rural Jamaica, where she was delivered by the same midwife who delivered her mother and an entire village of babies. She enters the birth justice arena with this personal understanding of the importance of safe, meaningful alternatives to medicalized birth especially for those most vulnerable in the medical system. Her research on racism and obstetrics violence highlights the potential for non-medicalized birth and midwifery as important dimensions of addressing the challenges faced by marginalized women in birthing.
She received her JD from the U.C. Hastings College of the Law and practiced public interest law prior to pursuing her graduate degree.
Susan M. Jenkins, J.D., has advocated 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., 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 listserv and the Legal Advocates for Birth Options and Rights (“LABOR”) Facebook page, precursors of BRBA, and is a member of Human Rights in Childbirth. She has 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 might have access to birth center midwife care. Susan is married to her law partner, Ernest T. Sanchez, and has one daughter and four grandchildren (midwife-attended), and lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Lynn M. Paltrow, J.D., is the Founder and Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. In those roles, Lynn 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. Lynn is also a Gemini and mother of twins.