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BRBA Bookshelf
See recommended books by BRBA members and others! BRBA's own guide, Pushed and Consented, is available on the Resources page.

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The People of BRBA

Board of Directors

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 “hotshot 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 where she drafted rules for Michigan Licensed Midwives practice. 

Jacqueline Kaye Hammack, J.D., (Director) is a movement lawyer and full-spectrum doula working to advance birth justice in Mississippi and Louisiana. Through a variety of contexts and initiatives – from hands-on birth and postpartum support to various avenues of legal advocacy – Jacqui works to support and promote the civil and human rights that are unique to the relationships of pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and daily caregiving of very young children. Jacqui is a Class II fellow with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership® and an inaugural fellow with the Mississippi Women's Policy Institute.

Stephanie Kraft Sheley, J.D., M.H.A., (Director, Treasurer) is an attorney and advocate for reproductive justice in Missouri and Illinois. She focuses on developing all-options legal and practical supports for young pregnant people in Missouri. She is a former legal intern with National Advocates for Pregnant Women and volunteers for Birth Monopoly, most recently compiling its state licensing board directory. Her original comic appears in Comics for Choice: Illustrated Abortion Stories, History and Politics (2018).

Jenn Mahan, J.D., (Director, Development and Community Engagement) (she/her) recently completed an If/When/How State Policy Fellowship with SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, during which she was tasked with building a policy advocacy portfolio for future fellows to expand upon. At the University of Baltimore School of Law, Jenn was founder and president of her If/When/How student chapter, production editor of Law Review, and a Constitutional Law teaching assistant. In the school’s Human Trafficking Prevention Clinic, Jenn provided legal representation to individuals with criminal records stemming from their involvement in the commercial sex industry. Jenn was a Health Law Fellow in the office of Maryland State Rep.  Robbyn Lewis and also served as a policy intern at the Center for Reproductive Rights, National Abortion Federation, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, ACLU of Maryland, and the Baltimore City Health Department’s Bureau on Maternal and Child Health. Jenn resides in Atlanta with her partner and their miniature pinscher, Harper.

Advisory Board

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.

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.

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