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New Mass. Legislation for CPM's

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I am writing on behalf of a wide coalition of women's advocates: Mass. Midwives Alliance, Mass. Friends of Midwives, Our Bodies Ourselves,

the Mass. Women's Bar Association, MA ACLU, and Amnesty International.

 

In this new 2013-2014 Legislative Session, we are again advocating for "An Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives" currently HD 446 (Rep. Kay Khan) and SD 1463 (Sen. Richard Moore).

 

The bill:

- Requires all midwives who are not already licensed nurses (CNMs) to become Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs);

- Creates state licensing requirements for all CPMs;

- Establishes a Committee on Midwifery under the Board of Registration in Medicine. This Committee will issue all CPM licenses and will regulate their practice

 

Not only is this legislation important in providing formal recognition for CPMs, but also for women's health and consumer advocacy. 

 

We are asking if you could contact your MA Senator and Rep. on behalf of the bill voicing your support as a constituent, blogging in support of the bill, and/or be willing to do some additional local outreach on behalf of the bill to friends and neighbors.

 

Contact information for your MA State Senator and Representative can be found at the following link:http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/MyElectionInfo.aspx

 

Copy of the bill text can be read here: http://www.mass.gov/legis/journal/desktop/Current%20Agenda%202011/H4253.pdf

A sample calling script is attached to this message. Calling is very simple and will take no more than 3 minutes to complete.

 

We appreciate your participation and support!

 

Sample Script:

 

(If emailing, title: Request to Cosponsor HD 446 and SD 1463 Relative to
Certified Professional Midwives)



 

My name is ___________, and I am from _____________. I am calling/emailing
on behalf of broad coalition of women's health advocates, including the
Mass. Midwives Alliance, Mass. Friends of Midwives, Our Bodies Ourselves,
the Mass. Women's Bar Association, MA ACLU, and Amnesty International.



 

In this new 2013-2014 Legislative Session, we are again advocating for "An
Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives" currently HD 446 (Rep. Kay
Khan) and SD 1463 (Sen. Richard Moore).



 

I'm calling/emailing to thank you for the support you have given to this
bill in the past and to ask that you renew your commitment as a bill
co-sponsor. (Edit accordingly based on whether or not they have been past
cosponsor.)



 

As you likely know, this bill in the previous 2011-2012 Session successfully advanced through both the Joint Committees on Public Health and Health Care Financing. (http://www.mass.gov/legis/journal/desktop/Current%20Agenda%202011/H4253.pdf> HB 4253).  The bill has also successfully passed the Senate several times in past sessions.



 

The bill:



-       Requires all midwives who are not already licensed nurses (CNMs)
to become Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs);



-       Creates state licensing requirements for all CPMs;



-       Establishes a Committee on Midwifery under the Board of
Registration in Medicine. This Committee will issue all CPM licenses and
will regulate their practice



 

We hope that Representative/Senator _____ will again consider cosponsoring
the bill and would be honored to have him/her join our efforts on behalf of
improving maternal health choices and outcomes. (Edit based on whether they
have been past cosponsor or not.)



 

Thank you for your consideration.



 

Name, Title, Affiliation, Contact Info

post #2 of 4

This doesn't sound like it would necessarily increase access to midwives. Are you saying that midwives who are currently midwives but don't carry a CPM would be forced to get a CPM to be able to continue working?

 

I looked it up and currently in Mass. you can be a direct-entry midwife. This bill sounds like it would impose more restrictions rather than offer more options.

 

http://massmidwives.org/for-parents/what-is-a-midwife/

post #3 of 4

It's not a bill designed to increase access.

 

It's a bill designed to legitimize the CPM profession within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

It's designed to give CPMs prescriptive abilities so they can do things like hang an IV for GBS+ patients at home, so they can order ultrasounds without jumping through hoops, and to have a well-defined set of standards they have to practice by --- just as CNMs and massage therapists and psychologists and dentists and social workers and lawyers and accountants, etc. have.

 

What this also does is protect the consumer.

 

So if a mother has an experience that goes awry, the licensing body for CPMs can issue restrictions on the midwife if it's found the midwife acted badly or lacked proper qualifications. Just like with doctors and nurses and other bodies of that sort. It also provides the consumer the opportunity to pursue legal action if there is a legally defined scope of practice for CPMs. As of now, women who have homebirths in MA where a midwife screws up royally are on their own -- there is no legal recourse they can take against the midwife because it is not a recognized practice by the government.

 

Getting CPMs licensure is also the first step in moving toward continuity of care where other medical professionals would appropriately acknowledge and accept the training and qualifications of CPMs (so an OB at an emergency transfer actually pays attention when the CPM gives him the patient's history rather than dismiss her as a quack) and is the first step into someday moving into medical insurance covering homebirths.

 

Both of those are long, long on the horizon, but licensure of CPMs will help things move in that direction.

 

Not only that, but the state of WA has licensed homebirth midwives --- some of whom may also practice in hospitals. And it's been nothing but a boon for the midwifery community there.
 

post #4 of 4

Definitely great questions to address.
Ask your local homebirth midwife(ves) if they support the bill, or if you have any questions-- or ask one someone who is helping support the bill, such as MFOM.  
As a consumer, I feel favorable towards license requirements and some accountability and feel that this bill is well crafted with input from consumers and the homebirth community.  I also hope that if it is passed, it will open the doors to further good things.  

Jessica

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