Support South Carolina Birth Centers!
This petition had 3,972 supporters
Recent policy changes by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control threaten to close licensed birth centers across the state.
These woman-owned small businesses provide low risk mothers and their families with quality, safe, and affordable care during pregnancy and childbirth.They create jobs, while providing valuable services, but most importantly options, to South Carolina families.
The policy change requires that in addition to the successful collaborative care they already provide, a physician must be on call and available to provide medical assistance at the birthing center at all times that it is serving the public. This section is unnecessary, because any situation that is urgent or emergent enough to require the skills of a medical doctor also requires the resources of a medical facility or hospital. A doctor need not be present at the birth facility, but be on call, ready to consult with and accept transfers to a hospital should a pregnancy or delivery no longer be considered low risk. DHEC has granted licensure and renewal without enforcing this regulation in this way for the last 22 years.
The change affects both CNM and CPM owned birth centers.
DHEC has issued citations to all birth centers across the state, requiring compliance with their new interpretation of the statute within 14 calendar days. If nothing is done to change this, then every licensed birth center in the state could be in danger of shutting their doors, regardless of the number of families under their care.
Some of you may recall another petition about midwives in South Carolina this year. That is because this birth center crisis comes in the same year that threatening legislation was introduced to also restrict the rights of families and midwives. The opposition seems to say- Who needs legislation when we can utilize bureaucracy to suspend the licenses of these small businesses, starve out their owners, and force these providers out of work.
The South Carolina Birth Coalition is a diverse group committed to the improvement, preservation, and promotion of healthy choices for children and birthing mothers in the state of South Carolina.
We ask that you sign this petition in order to protect small businesses from being regulated out of existence, and to protect the freedoms of South Carolina families to choose midwife assisted birth in a safe, professional setting.
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