“You see, LOVE IS STRONG. Stronger than hate even. Love is the only thing that can kill hate, nothing else. You see, hate destroys and that's why love is stronger. It builds."
- Peter Abrhams
Well, it's time to come out of hibernation and it's time to do it in a big love-dovey way! I know there has been limited exteranal activity from IBA since October, but we have still been dreaming, thinking, and planning many ways to change the culture of birth in our state (and beyond) during our quiter moments.
Here's the plan. We need to see the legalization of Certified Professional Midwives (CPM) in this state. Period. Factoid: did you know that Ina May Gaskin (CPM) was born in Iowa and that Robin Lim (CPM) is a registred voter in the state? Both of these national (and internationally) renowned midwives could face a felony if they were to come to their "home" state and practice their trade - midwifery. This has to change. For mothers, for babies, for Iowa.
It is my firm believe that the passing of this legistation (legalization of CPM's) could open the floodgates for change in other areas of birth in our state (and elsewhere). Currently CPM's are legal in 27 states. For the past several years Friends of Iowa Midwives (FOIM) have been spearheading the political campaign to see the passage of a bill, which they wrote, which would leagalize midwives. Last year they were able to raise enough funds to pay to have a full-time lobbyist at the Capitol (Megan Day Suhr). The bill was extremely close to being approved when a last minute change essentially "killed the bill" and FOIM had to pull it. Another way we know how much of an impact the bill was making was because there was more oppostion. Suddenly several organizations came to the table (with big budgets) to voice their opinions against the bill.*
Friends of Iowa Midwives is not currently active (they are in indefiente hibernation). FOIM and Iowa Birth Activists are friends! FOIM knows what we are doing in supporting the cause, which they had initated. Right now it is highly unlikely that the bill will even be brought to the table this year. So why all this talk then?
Because we need to show our state legislators (and the organizations who opposed the bill) that we do not scare that easily. We may fall down, but we get back up. That although it might not happen again this year, we are not going anywhere. We are growing in numbers and we will not be silent when it comes to issues of injustice.
So what am I asking you to do? Send an email. That's all (for starters). Email your representative on Valentine's day (Thursday Feb. 14th) and tell them that you LOVE MIDWIVES. Let them know that you support the passage of this bill (you can refer to it as "the midwife bill") and why you support it. Did you use a midwife, wanted to use one and had no access, or simply know that the evidence supports midwives as competent and capable birth attendents for low-risk women. It doesn't need to be long, elaborate, or super detailed. It just needs to be done. The legislators MUST here from us - from Iowa - from their constituants. So tell a friend, tell your partner, tell anyone to write. A simple email. You can find your senator and representative's contact info here.
We will all send our emails on Valentine's Day with the
subject heading: I LOVE MIDWIVES
Midwives aren't "your thing," not "your issue?" That's okay. The intention of Iowa Birth Activists is to unite people and see the big picture together. Whatever is your thing, we care about that too! We hope that you'll recognize the impact addressing this big picture issue will have on promoting good outcomes for moms, babies, and families and that you'll join us in our efforts. We also hope that you will see that when it comes to change everything is connected.
*These statements are my best, simplest, non-politically phrased understanding of the situation.
~ Mandi Hardy Hillman