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Women and children protest RMC doctor’s firing, demand that he be reinstated

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Women and children rallied on Monday to protest the firing of Dr. Howard Schwartz by Research Medical Center. Dr. Schwartz has been handling difficult births for more than 20 years.

The former patients of Dr. Schwartz say they don't know why he was fired and don't much care. They said they were showing the same sort of unwavering support for him that he showed to them during their difficult pregnancies.

Young voices at Monday’s rally called for the doctor’s reinstatement at RMC.

"If he didn't birth us, I think we wouldn't be here," one boy said.

Most children at the rally endured a rough entrance into the world, and their mothers say Dr. Schwartz was known for taking high-risk patients.

“When some issues I had in early pregnancy didn't resolve like everyone had told me they would, I find myself outside of the traditional medical system, and really desperately seeking a care provider who would take me,” former patient Megan Schneitzler said.

"Multiples, twins, triplets, vaginal breaches, VBAC patients,” former patient Lisa Cohen said.

“VBAC” means: Vaginal birth after c-section, which is considered high-risk.

In 2010, the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts reprimanded Dr. Schwartz when a baby died after the doctor attempted a VBAC that was discouraged by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

RMC is not commenting on Dr. Schwartz, but sent a statement addressing the former patients protesting for his reinstatement. It reads in part:

"Research Medical Center leadership met with a group petitioning to bring back a physician whose employment recently ended with one of the OB/GYN practices on our campus. We requested this meeting as we want to work collaboratively with these women to ensure them that our birthing program remains dedicated to personalized birth plans." 

Cohen was one of the women who met with hospital executives.

"They do say that if he were to re-apply and having liability insurance, that he would be considered for credentialing just as any other physician would,” she said. "It's possible, and this is all pure speculation, but it's possible that he can't get liability insurance due to some of the cases that he has taken."

Dr. Schwartz told FOX 4 he really wants to talk about this, but due to the advice of his lawyer, he can't. He did say when everything is settled, he will explain how the situation evolved.