This is a story near to my heart. Birth options for women in Illinois has been drastically reduced because Illinois only recognizes Certified Nurse Midwives as legal in providing home birth care. In other words, all other midwives such as those who’ve obtained Certified Professional credentials will be prosecuted and arrested if they provide home birth care here in Illinois. The approval of this bill (a few years ago) has had drastic consequence. Driving midwives underground and has created what they call a “black market” for midwifery care, as very few Certified Nurse Midwives exist and other midwives have left the state.
My midwife who is a Certified Nurse Midwife found herself inundated with clients at the passage of this bill a few years ago, as her fellow midwives, that had credentials other than CNM found themselves under threat of prosecution.
There is no question in my mind that the passage of this bill is an medieval attempt by OBGYNs to squash their competition as more and more mothers are dissatisfied with their hospital birth experiences and rising cesarean rates.
However the Coalition for Illinois Midwifery is fighting back with proposal House Bill 2940, which would allow midwives to administer certain drugs, and what they call a “baby step” bill, House Bill 1665, the Home Birth Integration Act, “which would allow, without the risk of legal action, underground midwives to transfer mothers and their birth records to a hospital in the event of an emergency. “ ~ IllinoisTimes.com
Dr. Steve Malkin, president of the Illinois State Medical Society, who, quite naturally, opposes both measures says:
“…he’s not opposed to home births, as long as mothers are assisted by “qualified personnel” – hospital-trained certified nurse midwives or doctors. “If enough women want to deliver at home that niche can be filled, but we need to make sure it is done safely and with people who are experienced. …”
It is my opinion that this doctor knows darn well there is a demand for midwives and his insinuations that midwives with Certified Professional credentials, recognized by 27 other states, is unfit to do what they have been trained, to do insults the intelligence of these women, and limits birth options of Illinois women. It displays the widely accepted ignorance that birth is a medical situation, the fact remains women have been birthing babies since the beginning of time…hundreds of thousands of years (??) before the medicalization of childbirth.
It’s difficult to believe that this sort of measure can happen at this day and age, but money has always been a strong motivator in the oppression of options and rights of others.
*The opinions of the author is hers alone. The information of this post can be verified by the sources found above.