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?