Conservative commentator Candace Owens gave birth to a healthy baby girl — Louise Marie Farmer — on July 13.
Returning from maternity this week leave to appear on her new Daily Wire show, “The Candace Owens Podcast,” she told of conflicts with the Tennessee hospital where her child was born, wrestling with what she termed the “medical mafia.”
Hit with what she saw as ongoing unreasonable hospital requests (which she believes were based on generating more revenue for the hospital), Owens and her husband wouldn’t comply.
Owens said the biggest health threat she and her baby faced was a lack of sleep, and she asked the hospital to help her with that.
She said the hospital — which she identified in a Daily Mail interview as Ascension Saint Thomas in Nashville — ignored her request.
Finally, early in the morning of her second overnight stay, she hit the wall. She demanded to go home.
It seems she couldn’t until her baby daughter had a blood test, required by Tennessee law under penalty of a misdemeanor.
Recognizing the importance of the test as a diagnostic tool for a potential or future problem, Owens wondered why she couldn’t have it administered at the office of her pediatrician. But she and her husband, George Farmer, agreed to let the hospital test the baby.
But then, Owens declined to allow the baby to receive antibiotics. The hospital demanded to give them because early in her pregnancy, Owens was perceived to be at risk of giving Group B Streptococcus to her baby.
However, the alleged threat stemmed from one positive indication from a test liable to continued changes in results, and Owens was satisfied the child was healthy.
Owens said her refusal to allow antibiotics to be put into her newborn daughter led the hospital to threaten her with a visit from Tennessee’s Child Protective Services.
And if she checked out of the hospital early — against medical advice — the hospital said insurance might not pay and Owens and her husband would be liable for the bill.
If you have a half-hour, watch Owens’ account of her hospital ordeal. It will make you laugh, but more tellingly, it will make you mad. It’s worth your time.
Owens’ baby is her second child; her first, a boy, was born Jan. 13, 2021. The birth of both children was easy, according to Owens, but, of course, following her daughter’s birth, she was tired.
“And all I’m looking for is some sleep,” she said on her podcast. “So, we get put up in our room, where, of course, you know, if you would like to stay for 48 hours you can, and I’m under the assumption that if I’d like to leave earlier than the 48 hours I’m also welcome to do that.
“Well, the first 24 hours in the hospital after giving birth are extremely stressful and it almost at a certain point starts to feel like you’re being pranked with how many times they knock on the door.”
After giving birth, Owens said, “the most important thing is sleep” for the new mother.
“Your body has done something that is incredible, you are rightfully tired, and if they could not knock on the door and let mother and child sleep, they will be better for it,” she said.
“But you are not allowed to sleep in a hospital after you’ve just given birth,” she said.
Owens recalled repeated interruptions her first night at the hospital — for instance, a knock on the door to check the child’s vital signs.
“I think that’s a good thing,” Owens said. “You want to make sure they don’t have a temperature.”
She said the result was “baby’s good.”
“I promise you, 15 minutes later — knock, knock. ‘We have to check your vitals,'” Owens recalled, wondering why her vitals couldn’t have been taken at the same time as the baby’s.
“And this happens about every hour … it feels like every hour,” she said.
So the first 24 hours went by, with Owens recounting interruptions that included continued checks of both her and the baby’s vital signs, a weighing of the baby, a check of the baby’s hearing, an offer to enroll in Dolly Parton’s free book program for children and an offer to have the hospital photographer take a picture of the baby.
Then, she said, a woman knocked and entered with postpartum forms to be filled out, to see how happy the mother is and if she might be liable to be depressed.
“I remember actually sitting there and thinking, ‘This is like Guantanamo Bay,’” Owens said. “You keep knocking, you refuse to let us sleep and now you want to ask me whether or not I’m crazy, because the answer is yes, you’re driving me crazy.”
The next night, despite pleading with a nurse for a mere four hours of uninterrupted sleep, the intrusions resumed. One of them was to weigh the baby at 2 a.m. naked on a cold scale, causing the infant to scream.
Finally, at 4 a.m., Owens and Farmer had enough. They said they were leaving.
A nurse supervisor gave them a form that said checking out without a newborn blood test was a misdemeanor under Tennessee law.
“I said, ‘And for my understanding, when you say a misdemeanor … are you going to write a ticket? Am I going to get arrested? Do I have a court hearing?'” Owens said.
“And she said, ‘Well I don’t know because no one’s ever refused it.’ And I just started laughing.”
Ultimately, they agreed to the test.
But the hospital said they also needed to be signed out by an obstetrician and a hospital pediatrician.
The pediatrician balked because Owens declined antibiotics for her baby. The doctor wanted them to stay for another 20 hours, for a total of 48 hours, citing the possibility of the infant having Group B Streptococcus.
“Could it be that insurance covers a hospital stay for exactly 48 hours, which means hospital profits?” Owens asked her podcast audience.
She challenged the pediatrician to test her baby for GBS, but the doctor refused. “We don’t do that,” is how Owens described the pediatrician as replying.
“This is what I’m talking about when I say there is hospital corruption,” Owens said.
“We won’t test you or the baby, but we will keep you for an extra 20 hours of monitoring so we can guarantee ourselves profit,” she said.
As Owens and Farmer moved to leave, she said, they were told they would have to wait to meet with Child Protective Services, which might take another 24 hours, and their insurance claim might be denied if they left without medical authorization.
She replied that she and her husband could afford the bill and chalked the threats up to bullying.
“I have talked to mothers about this — the bullying that takes place — the medical bullying,” Owens said.
“These are the threats. They want you to think your child is going to die unless you listen to them. ‘Give your child four COVID vaccines or they’ll die!’ Even though the numbers, the statistics, do not reflect that,” she said.
“They don’t care. They want to bully you. It’s a sale. You’re a dollar. Your child is a dollar sign, and they’re going to make you take this product, they’re going to make you stay in this hospital unless you do it.”
She added, “And then when I don’t pivot when she says that, when I don’t respond, she throws out the second thing. ‘Well, insurance might not cover it. We’re going to make you poor. We’re going to send you a bill and you’re going to have to pay out of pocket. You can’t afford to not take the drugs.'”
Owens said she does research but expressed concern about mothers who had not done so but knew what was happening was wrong.
“I will never, ever, ever allow someone to bully me into making a decision I am not comfortable with,” she said. “I knew what was the right thing to do for my child. It was for mom and dad to get sleep.
“I knew that my child was healthy, and I knew that I was healthy, and I knew that I could continue to raise my child in a healthy environment back home, but if I could get just a little bit of sleep and be well-rested, that that was the best possible thing to happen.”
What was the aftermath of Owens’ hospital stay, you ask?
She said she and her husband called the hospital’s bluff, walked out with their baby, never heard from CPS and saw insurance pay their bill in full.
The Western Journal reached out to Ascension Saint Thomas Hospital for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.