Yeah, what 4littlebirds said! If you totally agree with what the gov't says about midwifery/homebirth, then you go with the licensed mw....but it sounds like you DON'T agree with AR gov't regs on homebirth midwifery.
I am really not a fan of licensing for any profession. Licensing is not proven to be any sort of guarantee at all. There is a saying I've heard a few times lately: You know what they call a Dr who passed med school with straight A's? 'Doctor'. You know what they call a Dr who passed med school by the skin of his/her teeth? 'Doctor' For me that kind of sums it up.
Licensing is a failed attempt by the government to save ppl from themselves and life, IMO. Licensing does nothing so much as 2 things, as far as I've ever been able to tell:
1. It helps people NOT THINK about their care providers--'oh, s/he's licensed, MUST BE GOOD/SAFE/HONEST AT THIS WORK'. Uh....yeah right! Do you have any idea how many complaints there are against licensed Drs each year? Complaints about lack of skill, lack of integrity, lack of respect, kindness and common decency....Instead, people DO need to think, explore, ask questions, feel out a provider, know their own desires and values in choosing health care. They need to maintain awareness instead of blindly trusting based on a license, be willing to speak up, leave a doc if they get a bad feeling, and so forth.
2. Licensing helps providers make more money and gain more control over their field...because licensing provides an automatic 'peer group' which can band together (all legally) for self-promotion in advertising AND for self-promotion in legislatures (lobbying, that is). Do you have any idea how rich and powerful the AMA is?????? And how much control they have over our lives....never mind just our health care--drs have an incredible influence and legal control over ppl's lives in general. This is partly psychological, based on the Dominant-Submissive (essentially S&M) power dynamics of the dr.-patient relationship. But it is also real world legal/political power.
But no, licensing does NOT protect people from themselves, life, or licensed professionals....not that it's really the gov't's job to do this, anyway.
Uh....off rant now, and back to your question
I would listen to my intuition about a mw, WAY more than I would be concerned about whether she had a license. Not sure I would consider the license issue at all.