With over 20 years experience helping women manage safe and successful home births in Utah and Idaho, U.S., Donna Young was shocked to deliver her first stillborn baby on May 8, 2013. When she attended the baby’s funeral service several days later, she noticed an unusually high number of infant grave sites at the cemetery — all with recent dates. Instead of turning a blind eye and brushing her observation off as an unfortunate coincidence, she decided to investigate.
Young lives in Vernal, Utah — a veritable gold rush of fracking activity. When Young began connecting the dots between fracking and the spike in newborn deaths, those involved with the industry didn’t take kindly to her questions.
Before the hate campaign began against Young, she had between 18 to 25 clients a year, and a spotless, statewide reputation. All that changed once she began to question the harm fracking was causing to those most vulnerable: babies. Presently she’s down to five clients and she’s not sure how she’ll be able to manage her ranch if things don’t turn around. Young also sleeps with a gun after receiving death threats and having someone attempt to poison her livestock. Next were the nurses and doctors who warned pregnant women to steer clear of Young because she was incompetent. The implied message: she had killed babies and would kill theirs too.