Bloomington midwife arrested for practicing without a license

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SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A Bloomington midwife who helped deliver a child in June who died from complications of labor has been charged with practicing without a license.
     
Jennifer Louisa Williams, 54, surrendered Friday at the Shelby County Courthouse. Williams, who was released after posting $10,000 bond, faces charges of practicing medicine without a license and a lesser charge of unlicensed practice of midwifery.
     
"I wasn't surprise by the charges," she said.
     
On June 3, Williams helped deliver a boy, Oliver Meredith, in the parsonage of First Southern Baptist Church in Edinburg, where his father was a pastor. Authorities say the newborn died as a result of pooled blood in the head and neonatal asphyxia.
     
According to court documents, Williams is not a certified nurse-midwife in Indiana and has not received a license to practice midwifery or medicine in Indiana. Under state law, certified midwives must also be a registered nurse.
     
Mary Ann Griffin, a board member of the Indiana Midwives Association, said the charges are unrelated to the care provided by Williams to 31-year-old Kristi Jo Meredith.
     
"She's a very competent midwife," she said.
     
Meredith and her husband, J.D., paid Williams $1,550 for midwife services after finding her name listed on an Internet midwife registry, according to court documents.
     
Investigators said although Williams is not a nurse, she is certified as a professional midwife by the North American Registry of Midwives.
     
In November, a grand jury indicted a Morgantown woman for practicing midwifery without a license in connection to another newborn's death in June.
     
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)