I promised an update on the Missouri Midwifery Law. I pulled this update off the Friends of Missouri Midwives website- a legal battle of true David and Goliath proportions.
News from Missouri Midwifery Supporters
CONTACT: Mary Ueland (417) 543-4258, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Missouri home-birth families, supporters combine legal efforts to preserve and protect the new Missouri Midwifery Law
(JEFFERSON CITY, MO.) – Supporters of the new Missouri Midwifery Law have joined with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to shine a light on the importance of family healthcare choices and to legally defend the ability of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) to provide prenatal, birth and postpartum care in the state of Missouri.
These combined legal efforts to preserve and protect the new Missouri Midwifery Law come in direct response to the Missouri State Medical Association’s (MSMA) ongoing, well-financed challenge to the new law. A temporary estraining order was granted to MSMA on July 3. The restraining order is in effect until the preliminary injunction hearing that is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 2, at the Cole County Courthouse, 301 E High St., Jefferson City, Mo.
Judge Patricia Joyce will hear testimony from organized medicine’s MSMA, which is trying to prevent the new law from taking effect on Aug. 28 as originally intended. The Judge will also hear from newly admitted-to-the-case homebirth defendants and midwifery supporters, as well as from the Missouri Attorney General’s Office.�
One of the newly listed supporters is Dr. Elizabeth Allemann, MD, with the Columbia Community Birth Center. “It is a frustration that Missouri has taken so long to recognize the skills and expertise of CPM’s, when the science is so clear about the safety and high quality of the care they provide,” she said.
In support of the new law and to voice opposition to any injunction of it, as well as to increase attention to the safety of the midwifery model of care, midwifery supporters have organized a rally for Thursday. The rally is co-sponsored by the Friends of Missouri Midwives, Missouri Midwives Association, Show-Me Freedom in Healthcare, and Free the Midwives.
In addition to the rally, the candid and eye-opening documentary, "The Business of Being Born," will be shown Thursday as well. Thanks to the generous donation by the film’s director Abby Epstein and producer Ricki Lake, the film will be shown for a one-time screening prior to the documentary’s official theatrical release this fall. In the film, Epstein and Lake explore and question the way American women have babies. Surprising facts regarding the historical and current practices of the child birthing industry interweave with stories of couples who decide to give birth on their own terms. The yet-to-be-released documentary was screened in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival this spring.
In a statement of support, Lake said, “I sincerely hope that Missouri lawmakers do not deny parents a basic human right by restricting how their children can come into the world. I also hope that Missouri lawmakers recognize midwifery as a serious, social-service profession that deserves licensing, public support and admiration.”