Alabama’s “Criminalizing” Midwifery Bill

Many of us have read Alabama’s “Decriminalizing Midwifery Bill”, HB315.

I have seen much rejoicing and praise especially in Nebraska, the remaining state illegalizing CNMs (Certified Nurse Midwives) in homebirths settings. However, as I see the Facebook noise, I can’t help but wonder “Why are they rejoicing?”

 

Many people assume this bill “will free the women in Alabama”. But will it? As I read the bill, before it passed, I noticed some VERY dangerous wording, which remained in the final bill. To read the final bill for yourself, click here:

http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/ALISON/SearchableInstruments/2017RS/PrintFiles/HB315-enr.pdf

 

In the first several words:

“to exempt a midwife holding a current midwifery certification from an organization accredited by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence from the crime of practicing midwifery without a license; and to make the practice of lay midwifery a criminal offense;”

 

Under this new law, traditional midwives and non-CPM homebirth midwives are “guilty of a Class C misdemeanor” for attending homebirths. The State restricts birth freedom for a woman’s God-given, inherent right to birth where and with whomever she chooses. When we allow the STATE to dictate our laws around our own primal function to birth, we lose the basis of all human rights. A birth decision belongs with the woman giving birth, not the state.

 

Many people believe the lie that these regulations protect the people, and in this case the birthing mother. However, licensing proves nothing about the provider attending birth and further restricts the provider in her care of the woman by placing the regulations before the woman.

 

As for the restrictions in the bill, and there are MANY…….

 

Pages 2-3 Goes on to MANDATE that the midwives carry insurance. Another limitation of freedom of the Midwife’s freedom to practice.

 

Further down, we find limits placed on women narrowing the scope of “normal”.

Women wanting VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean), Vaginal Breech, or Multiples are excluded from legal homebirth in Alabama. On page 11, these variations of normal are defined as “outside the scope of the licensed practice of midwifery.”

 

The Cesarean rate in Alabama is 36.5%. Some hospitals and doctors “ban” VBACs, while others give lip service to desired VBACs, but place such tight restrictions that it is very difficult to be successful.

Ninety percent of women who had a first C-section will end up with a repeat cesarean. Often women who want to have a good chance at a VBAC choose homebirth with a midwife, because the chances of a successful VBAC are much greater in a homebirth setting.

 

The rest of the bill is written with details and imposes many requirements about the certification process and recertification process.

 

It breaks my heart that well-intentioned activists have blindly surrendered the rights of their daughters, sisters, and friends because they were told that they couldn’t do any better.

 

                       NEBRASKA WOMEN (and all other STATES) I’m talking to YOU!

                                                       WE CAN DO BETTER!

                                 WE don’t need to look to the state for permission.

 WE don’t need to settle for scraps fallen from government officials and obstetricians’                                                    tables of authoritarianism.

                           WE can BIRTH our babies in complete freedom.

                 WE are the mother of all humanity, LETS TAKE OUR POWER BACK!

 

 

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