In 2018 a Penn Yan woman was arrested for practicing as a midwife for years but did not possess the qualifications necessary, and she has plead guilty to one of over 90 charges.
Elizabeth Catlin, 55, was arrested twice in a matter of months for impersonating a midwife.
The majority of her charges were for forgery and included fraudulent use of a medical lab, using the names of other professionals and a business, and she was even charged with the death a baby that was delivered in her care in the Mennonite community. It was later discovered she had permission from the medical professional she was accused of forging the name of.
Despite all of this she had support all around her.
Many people in the Yates County area opt for home births, especially in the Mennonite community, but the state makes that difficult with only a handful of licensed midwives outside of New York City. New York also fails to recognize a certification offered by the North American Registry of Midwives, which Catlin holds.
Following her not guilty pleas and a discussion with Yates County Judge Jason Cook, she plead guilty to unauthorized practice of the profession of midwifery, a low-level felony and will face sentencing Dec. 14.
She had support all around her inside and outside of the courtroom, and said she felt an immense amount of pressure lifted off her shoulders.
She hopes the state law will change surrounding being a midwife and if it does, she looks forward to practicing again.
See previous coverage on Catlin’s case below.