This book is dedicated to midwives everywhere.

The work undertaken in the following pages primarily honors those midwives who have been subjected to prosecution or persecution in their service to women and babies. If a list of these pioneer midwives was included as part of this dedication, it would consist of hundreds of caring and highly competent midwives entrapped by a legal system which views their actions as criminal.

Too many midwives have been forced to expend too much of their energy, finances and sanity trying to defend the practice of midwifery. Too many midwives are serving jail time for providing appropriate midwifery care. As a result of their exhaustion from prosecution, too many midwives' hands no longer greet the miracle of birth. These are the midwives to whom this book is primarily dedicated. The many individuals who have tirelessly worked on this project have done so with these midwives in their minds and hearts.

Knowledge is power and protection. This book strives to make a positive contribution to every midwifery practice and is dedicated with the intention that no midwife should ever again be unjustly prosecuted or persecuted.

This book is also dedicated to the practicing midwives of today and tomorrow. May these pages germinate the wisdom necessary for midwifery to thrive in the legal, political and social climate of our times.

Pam Kolanz