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Midwives push for improved care with new bill HB312

HB 312 is poised to bring substantive enhancements to the existing midwifery framework established in 2017.

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In a substantial move to enhance midwifery care in Alabama, the Alabama Midwives Alliance heralds the introduction of House Bill 312 (HB312), a legislative effort aimed at refining midwifery laws in the state. Championed by Representative Ben Harrison, with a strong coalition of co-sponsors including Representatives Pettus, Butler, Whorton, Brown, Treadaway, Yarbrough, Wood (D), Ingram, Fincher, Fidler, Lamb, Stubbs, and Starnes, HB 312 represents a crucial step forward in the realm of midwifery.

HB312, which has recently undergone its first reading, is poised to bring substantive enhancements to the existing midwifery framework established in 2017. It focuses on both technical and substantial amendments to align the law with current standards and clarify the legislative intent behind midwifery practices.

Key features of the bill include technical updates to align with the current code style and substantial clarifications to solidify the original intentions of the 2017 midwifery legislation. Moreover, HB312 seeks to provide explicit legislative language regarding the administration of state-mandated newborn screenings by midwives, a critical step in ensuring the health and safety of newborns in Alabama.

An especially noteworthy aspect of HB312 is its commitment to safeguarding the rights of Alabama families to choose licensed Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) for out-of-hospital births, including those occurring in free-standing birth centers. This provision underscores Alabama’s dedication to offering families choices in their childbirth experiences, promoting a diverse and inclusive healthcare landscape.

Furthermore, the bill empowers the Alabama State Board of Midwifery to accept gifts and grants, a vital provision that will enable the Board to continue its essential regulatory functions in a sustainable manner, ensuring that CPMs can provide top-tier, evidence-based care aligned with best practices.

Nancy Meggison, LM, CPM, RN, and Legislative Chair of the Alabama Midwives Alliance, emphasized the bill’s importance, stating, “We need clear, up-to-date code language that enables safe and sustainable practice and regulation of out-of-hospital midwifery.” She highlighted the commitment of Alabama’s licensed Certified Professional Midwives to the wellbeing of families and newborns, especially those born outside of traditional hospital settings.

As HB312 progresses through the legislative process, it symbolizes a pivotal moment for midwifery in Alabama, promising enhanced safety, choice, and quality of care for families across the state.

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The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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