Friday, May 09, 2008

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

The Missouri midwifery bill is having a final go at it. This legislative session is about to come to an end, and there's just enough time to get a vote in the state senate. I wish my sister Missourians well. We've gotten to this point many times in the past. So many folks work so hard to get a bill this far. Folks who move here from other states are always amazed at how repressive things are here. Kansas law keeps non nurse midwives allegal, while Missouri law has them out and out illegal. Its a felony offense to practice midwifery (unless you are a CNM) and midwives here have been prosecuted. The fear of prosecution keeps midwifery underground for the most part. You kinda have to know someone who knows someone. All this cloak and dagger mystique keeps options out of the reach of most women. Some women prefer a CNM to care for them- but good luck finding one who does homebirth. Punitive malpractice insurance companies practically guarantee that needed physician back up and collaboration will be unavailable. Women don't have true choices in the hospital setting. Political tyranny limits their choices outside of the hospital. What are women to do?


Mimi said...

Grrrrr. Thank you for all you do to help women around the tyranny.

Laborpayne said...

Thanks for the encouragement

womantowomancbe said...

I had a CNM-attended home birth in the Chicago area, and a few months after I gave birth, she had to close her practice. She operated without malpractice insurance, and although she had never had any negative outcomes or lawsuits, her backup OB's malpractice insurer decided to require that she get malpractice insurance, or they'd drop him. So, she checked into it, and for the number of births they attended per year, it was going to be $50,000 per midwife per year. While they could technically increase the number of births they attended, that would cause their rate to go up. Her only choices were to astronomically raise her rates to cover the malpractice insurance or close (since she couldn't find another backup OB). Sadly, she had to close her business, and become a hospital-based CNM.


tie-dyed doula said...

I just don't understand it. We are the birthing society, we are the mamas, doesn't it count what we think or that we are the voice for our unborn babies? Does anyone care how they would like to be born and where? We, mamas, are the consumers. Without us, there would be no medical maternity crisis right now. How can anyone tell us where to birth and with whom? It maddens and saddens me...anyway, I love your blog, you are a light in this crazy world...
Shine On!!!

Midhusband said...

Hey Sherry,

My sense is that Missouri is in the best position you’ve been in for years thanks to some heroic efforts.

The schedule is short. I hope everyone reading your forum will send a message to the Missouri Senate urging their support for the Midwifery Bill. I sent a note back in December to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and received a nice letter in return (and I’m just a silly old midhusband from NC). The voices matter.

Monday will be a big day in Jefferson City. I will have you in my thoughts.


p.s. Here’s wishing you a terrific Mother’s Day.

Laborpayne said...

Thanks Midhusband. Many are fighting the good fight here in Missouri. The troops are rallying, hopefully to productive effect.

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