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Governor signs bill decriminalized Professional Midwifery

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) signed House Bill 315, decriminalizing Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in Alabama.

Governor Ivey said in a statement, “After thoughtful and deliberate consideration, I signed the midwifery bill because it gives mothers more options to choose how to deliver their baby, while simultaneously ensuring that those Midwives who practice in Alabama are qualified to do so.”

Gov. Ivey stated, “As signed into law, HB315 strikes the appropriate balance of removing regulations to allow Midwives to practice, while also making sure offered services are safe for and in the best interests of mothers and children. The debate on this bill brought all parties to the table and is a perfect example of the people of Alabama playing an active and effective role in lobbying their government.”

The Alabama Birth Coalition said on social media, “We are so thankful to Governor Kay Ivey for supporting access to the qualified care of a CPM!”

House Bill 315, sponsored by State Representative Ken Johnson (R-Moulton) decriminalized midwifery in the State of Alabama. The bill that passed the State House of Representatives was a simple decriminalization of Certified Midwives.

The bill was changed in the Senate to included a regulating board that would consist of seven members appointed by the Governor. Four of whom would be Certified Professional Midwives with certificates from the North American Registry of Midwives, one will be a Nurse Practitioner, one Certified Nurse-Midwife or Registered Nurse, and someone who has used Midwifery services in the State.

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The State ended it’s Certification of Midwives in the 1970s.

In recent decades the number of doctors delivering babies has declined, several rural hospitals have closed and other hospitals have dropped maternity services

Alabama and Mississippi have by far the worst infant mortality in the country.

The Certified Professional Midwives have been lobbying the legislature for fourteen years; before finally getting HB315 passed this Legislative Session.

 

Written By

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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