Mississippi Senate Drops Bill Outlawing CPMs

March 2, 2010

According to reports, the Mississippi bill that would make non-nurse midwives illegal in the state is dead after “a barrage of calls and e-mails on lawmakers, urging them to kill the bill” from advocates for midwifery and home birth.

We mentioned the bill in a post last week, after it passed the House and was referred to the state Senate’s Public Health and Welfare committee. Committee chair Hob Bryan has now indicated that he will not bring the bill up for a vote, saying that “This is something there’s a good bit of concern about. Several people in the committee said they had gotten calls to oppose it.”

The Big Push for Midwives, mentioned in the story, led the campaign to mobilize against this bill and issued action alerts last week encouraging midwifery supporters  to contact their State Senators regarding the bill. Campaign manager Katherine Prown explained that their opposition was not opposition to regulation of midwifery, but to the limitation of midwifery practice solely to CNMs (who typically do not provide home birth support).

“At least 26 states have laws authorizing CPMs and there’s an effort under way to get more states to license them so the practice of out-of-hospital midwifery is regulated nationwide,” Prown said. Without those laws “you end up with this buyer beware kind of climate and anyone can claim to be a midwife,” said Prown.

The Big Push campaign works to expand access to Certified Professional Midwives and out-of-hospital maternity care, including work to regulate and license CPMs in all 50 states.

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