Action Alert: Promote Access to Midwives in Massachusetts

By Christine Cupaiuolo — April 22, 2010

Our Bodies Ourselves is asking for your help in drawing attention to the Massachusetts midwifery bill that must be approved by the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing by Wednesday, April 28, if it is to have any chance of passage this year.

The legislation accomplishes two things:

* It would regulate the practice of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), trained midwives who attend women planning to give birth at home.

* It would also strike outdated statutory language that mandates physician supervision of Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs) — a position endorsed nationally by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and already adopted by 44 states. Required supervision creates excessive and unnecessary liability for physicians and is the reason full-scope CNM services are not now accessible in high-need communities such as Lawrence, Southbridge, Worcester and Gardner.

If you live in Massachusetts, please call your legislator and urge support for this bill by asking Rep. Harriett Stanley, co-chair of the committee, to report the bill out favorably. If the bill dies, then 1.4 million families in the state will still not have the kind of access to midwives that families in many other states do.

Thanks for your support! Please share this post with friends and colleagues in Massachusetts.

Plus: For more discussion, check out A Radio Conversation on Midwifery, featuring OBOS’s Judy Norsigian.

One response to “Action Alert: Promote Access to Midwives in Massachusetts”

  1. Just an FYI- CPMs in Massachusetts are “alegal” not legal or illegal, and as I understand it there is case law that supports that CPMs & DEMs are NOT practicing medicine without a license. Although legislation would make it possible for CPMs to accept insurance & to have easier access to back-up doctor coverage, there is also a downside to regulation. CPMs & DEMs are now working legally as independent care providers, regulation could hinder their ability to best serve their clients.

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