Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Call to Action

The home birth and midwifery community in Iowa is in need of a new round of advocacy and a new set of legislative leaders. Another Certified Professional Midwife has been charged with practicing medicine without a license in Iowa, and it is as important now as ever to work toward CPM licensure in our state. Friends of Iowa Midwives, now inactive as a legislative organization, ran a strong legislative campaign for 4 years, and has laid valuable groundwork educating our state lawmakers and the general public about midwifery and out-of-hospital birth. The CPM licensure bill came very close to passing two years in a row. If another grassroots effort is to be made, we need new leaders to step up to build on these efforts and take this bill forward.

Why is this important? Certified Professional Midwives are trained maternity care providers with special expertise in supporting women to maintain a healthy pregnancy and birth. They are specifically trained in out-of-hospital birth. While Certified Nurse Midwives practice throughout Iowa in home and hospital settings, Certified Professional Midwives are not granted licensure in our state, and are therefore subject to prosecution. CPMs serve many parts of Iowa that are medically underserved, and provide much needed, safe maternity care to hundreds of families around the state, yet they are still considered criminals because of Iowa's outdated legal stance. Our citizens deserve better. Iowa's families deserve access to CPMs as part of a full range of health care providers, as families in the majority of our country do.

We are looking for knowledgeable and passionate midwifery advocates who are willing to spearhead letter writing campaigns and organize meetings with local representatives in their communities. If you don't know much about the legislative process, that's okay -- we will teach you!

If you are interested please contact me, Mandi (IBA co-founder), at mandi.hillman@gmail.com and I will direct you to the appropriate people. Here is the FOIM Q & A page with some further information you may find useful. http://www.friendsofiowamidwives.org/q--a.html

With sincerest gratitude for your consideration,
Mandi Hardy Hillman (and all)

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