Support The Democratic Process: Stop The Advancement of House Bill 1189
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If you believe in the democratic process and the right to have your voice heard in regards to home birth in the Commonwealth, please sign this petition to support "Support Birth Choice" in their fight to stop the advancement of Massachusetts House Bill H1189, An Act relative to out-of-hospital birth access and safety.
Sign with your city hyphenated with your last name First: Sue Last: Jones-Worcester
Currently, the bill has been given to the joint committee on public health and a public hearing is on November 7th at 10 am in Rm A1-2 in the State House.
The original intention of this bill was to increase access to home birth midwifery by licensing midwives. The people who filed the bill wanted to make public the knowledge that homebirth is a viable option for families in the state of Massachusetts and they wanted to increase the safety by allowing midwives to carry life-saving medications and by making rules and regulations to unify practice standards and have a shot at insurance reimbursement, as licensure is a first step for insurance reimbursement (though this bill does not ensure insurance reimbursement or coverage)
Though written with the best intentions, as the bill stands right now, there is still vague language that could potentially limit the type of clients that midwives could accept and decrease the ability for birthing families to make informed decisions on their care. VBAC, breech, twins, 35+ maternal age, and many other physiologically normal occurrences could all cause a client to be risked out.
Some local hospitals have c sections rates between 35-40% and there are VBAC bans at hospitals deemed Baby Friendly under the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. VBAC alone is a critical issue.
There is also language that phases out the apprenticeship model of midwifery, limiting the number of future midwives and essentially halting the education of many who are currently under the apprenticeship model. Fifty-five percent of currently practicing midwives in Massachusetts, who provide informative, supportive and evidence based care were trained under the apprenticeship model.
Midwives and consumers have also bought up other valid concerns, including but not limited to:
- Midwives giving care to religious communities and being unable to directly receive payment.
- Composition of the Board
-Nomination of Board Members
-Punishment and Fines
- Extra exams above the nationally recognized credential.
Regardless of opinion, I respectfully ask the greater community (midwives, apprentices, students, birth workers and consumers) to familiarize themselves with the language and have the ability to ask questions and make comments and suggestions. Public testimony is welcomed and encourage on Nov 7th at the State House.
As it stands, THIS BILL DOES NOT REPRESENT THE VOICES OF THE MAJORITY OF MIDWIVES AND CONSUMERS!
You can find the language here: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H1189
Until the majority of voices are given the opportunity to be heard and to weigh in on the licensure of homebirth midwives and its personal and professional implications, we must stop advancement of this bill.
Please sign here in support of Support Birth Choice and say NO to the advancement of House Bill 1189 until all voices are given a chance to be heard.
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