ITVS Launches Website for BORN IN THE U.S.A. Airing on PBS

October 18, 2000

ITVS Launches Website for BORN IN THE U.S.A. Airing on PBS’s Independent Lens series on October 23, 2000 (check local listings at

(San Francisco) – The Independent Television Service (ITVS) debuts the BORN IN THE U.S.A. website (, a companion site to the ITVS-funded documentary. BORN IN THE U.S.A. takes a critical look at the birthing industry in America, in an exploration of shifting beliefs about women, technology and the perceived ability to control natural events. Directed and produced by Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, the documentary is part of the Independent Lens series on PBS.

BORN IN THE U.S.A. explores the landscape of current maternity care through the eyes of three caregivers: an obstetrician working at a teaching hospital, a licensed midwife attending home births, and a certified nurse-midwife bridging both worlds in an urban, out-of-hospital birth center. Immediate and intimate, BORN IN THE U.S.A. focuses on the shift from traditional hospital births to midwifery and birthing center deliveries, revealing the many birthing options that exist in today’s society.

Website highlights include:

Childbirth in America

Read the current facts and figures on the various forms of childbirth in America. Learn women’s reproductive rights concerning their involvement in the birthing process.

Technology/Public Health Issues

How much money can be saved in health care costs by demedicalizing childbirth, developing midwifery and encouraging breastfeeding? What are the consequences of overmedicalization? Learn answers to these questions as well as the many roles technology plays in the birthroom, in both standard physician-attended births and the midwifery model.

Birth Stories and Suggestions

Hear different perspectives highlighting the varied worldviews of medical professionals and midwives on the various birthing methods.

Advice on Safe Birthing

Obtain your own copy of Your Guide to Safe Care, which measures the effects of specific maternity care practices during the labors of women that are anticipating a normal birth. Discover ten important questions to ask health care providers on how to have a better birth.

The Film

Get an overview of the program and bios of the three caregivers featured in the film. Learn the history and recent accomplishments of Director/Producers Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider.


Post opinions, reactions and thoughts about the program and issues surrounding the various birthing methods.


Explore links to websites, related articles, publications and organizations about birthing, midwifery, Lamaze, obstetrics and other related topics.

About ITVS

Unique in American public television, the Independent Television Service (ITVS) was established by Congress to fund and present programs that “involve creative risks and address the needs of undeserved audiences, especially children and minorities,” while granting artistic control to independent producers. ITVS has funded more than 375 programs for public television since its inception in 1991. Critically acclaimed ITVS programs include THE FARMER’S WIFE and recent Emmy Award winners SING FASTER: THE STAGEHANDS’ RING CYCLE and SCHOOL PRAYER: A COMMUNITY AT WAR. To learn more about ITVS, visit the ITVS web site at