Need Your Help WYOMING mamas!!! MIDWIFE bill going to legislator! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-21-2009, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From Wyoming Birth Options

Dear Homebirth Supporter,
Senator Wayne Johnson has once again introduced his bill to legalize Certified Professional Midwives in Wyoming. The bill has been referred to the Labor and Health Committee. Four out of five of the Senators on that committee voted against this bill in last year's budget session. We understand that the members of this committee are now being lobbied heavily by the bill's opponents. The committee may hold a hearing on this bill this Friday (Jan. 23). It is crucial to let them hear from our side now!

1) We need you to email these five committee members and ask them to vote for Senate File 77.
Sen. Charles Scott charlesscott@wyoming.com
Sen. John Hastert jhastert2@wyoming.com
Sen. John Schiffer jschiffe@wyoming.com
Sen. Rick Hunnicutt rhunnicutt@wyoming.com
Sen. Bill Landen blanden@bresnan.net

2) If you are also a constituent of one of these Senators, please:

* tell them so,
* ask them to support this bill, and
* ask them how they plan to vote on it.


3) Ask friends and family members to also write in.

If this bill does not get out of this committee, it is dead for the year. Please take some time right now to fight for your right to have a home birth!

Sincerely, Shandra Emrich


PS- Follow these links to find out who your senator and representative are:


Senator: http://leglocator.state.wy.us/leg2/w...?map=1&scope=-



Rep: http://leglocator.state.wy.us/leg2/w...?map=0&scope=-
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#2 of 14 Old 01-21-2009, 07:32 PM
 
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I don't have a lot of online time this week - does anyone know if there is a good source for quick facts that I could include in my emails (i.e., rate of hospital-borne infections; safety of homebirths; cost savings or travel advantages in our rural area, etc.?

If I get a chance I will try to look. I'd like to have some substance to my email. None of the legislators represents me directly.

Not all who wander are lost.
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#3 of 14 Old 01-27-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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OH NO! I have read this thread too late! Does anyone know the outcome of the vote? Elanorh - I believe the ICAN website has good statistics on these things. Unfortunately, it is near impossible to compile statitics on the number of unassited births that take place because out-of-hospital assistance is unavailable in an area OR how many moms would have had an out-of-hospital birth if they had the option. It is difficult to change people opinions on the safety of hospitals, but it is compelling (especially to a politician) to address that ALL families deserve the right to choose the healthcare option that is best for them. Not licensing midwives is taking that liberty away. Just one way of looking at it.......
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#4 of 14 Old 01-27-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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NPR had a piece on this tonight -- they said that essentially, the committee is still considering it and it may have amendments tomorrow (dh heard a scrap of it on the radio while running errands). So he came home and asked if I'd written yet!

Here is what I wrote, if anyone is looking for ideas (please don't copy it - but feel free to use it for motivation!! )

Quote:
Dear Senator X,

I am contacting you in regards to Senate File 77, a bill to legalize certified professional midwives in Wyoming. I am asking that you support this bill, as it will not only reduce health costs for those Wyoming families who choose to use it, but it will also give our residents the same freedom to make an informed choice about care givers while giving birth that residents in many other states already possess.

When 13 of our counties don't have any OB services available to women, and when many of the counties which do have OB services available, may require a drive of 2-3 hours to reach a labor and delivery ward -- expanding our available birth coverage to include licensed practical midwives will enhance the quality of care available to families here in Wyoming.

Moreover, with the skyrocketing costs of health care, licensed practical midwives (and home births) are a more financially manageable option for many families. My husband and I are small business owners. We pay out-of-pocket for our births. Our two children were both unmedicated vaginal births with no complications; in fact, our second was born within less than an hour at the hospital. The cost of an unmedicated vaginal delivery at Sheridan Memorial Hospital between those two births (2003 and 2006) literally doubled. Our second child cost us over $10,000 (combining hospital and OB costs; approximately $6,500 was just for our less-than-24-hour stay at the hospital).

Unfortunately for the hospital and for Wyoming in general - if we have another child, s/he will be born in Montana, where we can give birth for half the cost with a longer hospital stay (if in a hospital). That's money Wyoming is losing -- money which it would NOT lose, if the option of a licensed practical midwife and home birth were available to our family in our own state.

Licensed Practical Midwives have a national organization (North American Registry of Midwives) and it works collaboratively with the American College of Nurse-Midwives. There are solid, reputable standards in place in many states (New Mexico springs to mind) for practical midwives. Moreover, techniques used by practical midwives, such as the Gaskin Maneuver, have been learned and are being applied now by obstetricians here in the USA (the Gaskin Maneuver is a way to reverse situations which would cause shoulder dystocia, without resorting to expensive emergency c-sections).

Licensed Practical Midwives, and home birth, have a solid body of research supporting their safety for mothers and their infants. Actually, the USA ranks 41st in the world for maternal deaths [source: World Health Organization/UN], and worst in the developed world for infant mortality, despite our mostly-obstetric birth model. The nations who rank highest, have ready access to home birth midwives (both practical and certified nurses) for births. Midwives, both practical and certified, are noted for screening their patients and referring high-risk mothers to obstetricians. My sister, a nurse and diabetes educator in Montana, mentioned this very fact to me yesterday - the nurse-midwives who operate in her county refer more gestational diabetes cases to her than any other OB related practices.

The bottom line, beyond the financial and health concerns, is that Wyoming families deserve access to the health care which they desire. Choosing not to support this bill, is a choice to withhold health care options from your constituents.

Please contact me if you have any questions about my support of this bill! Thank you for your time and consideration in researching this bill.
[Name and contact information]
I sent to my Senator and the committee members. Also sent to my Rep and our other local Rep as a heads-up that I hope they support this when (hopehope) it arrives in the House.

There was an article about this in the Casper Star-Tribune which was very even-handed, I thought - certainly didn't make us look like weirdos, anyway -- here's a link:
http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/...l_01-27-09.txt

(More food for thought in typing your letters)


Will try to think of those who'd support this in the area that I can urge to contact folks as well!

Not all who wander are lost.
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#5 of 14 Old 01-27-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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Also - email contact for senators:
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/Legislat...=S&strStatus=N

Representatives:
http://legisweb.state.wy.us/Legislat...=H&strStatus=N

Not all who wander are lost.
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#6 of 14 Old 02-01-2009, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We had a very positive Senate hearing on Mon. morning. In the end the doctors and nurses all said, “We are not against homebirth. We are not against midwives. We just want them to be licensed by the state, the same way other professions are." Four of the five Senators on the Senate Labor and Health Committee said in the hearing that they would vote against SF77 as it was. In order to prevent the bill from dying in committee, several of us met Mon. afternoon with Senators Johnson and Scott to amend the bill and add licensure. However, it turns out that we had to change the bill so much that we scrapped the old one and wrote a new one. Senators Charlie Scott and Wayne Johnson and Penelope Caldwell, CNM took the laboring oars in drafting the new bill. Senator Johnson introduced it yesterday with Senator Scott, Chairman of the Labor & Health Committee, as an original cosponsor. It is SF141 and you can read it here: http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2009/Introduced/SF0141.pdf


They have done an excellent job creating a bill that is actually capable of passing! We believe we have a very good chance with this bill. The Wyoming Medical Society and Wyoming Nurses Association said specifically in the hearing that they are not against home birth and midwives, but that they just want to see them licensed by the State of Wyoming . The revised bill, SF 141, accomplishes that goal. The medical community should now support this bill as it provides the licensing and oversight for midwives that is analogous to other professionals in our state. Senator Hunnicutt stated clearly that he would vote for it. With the addition of Sen. Scott as an original cosponsor, two out of the five committee members have affirmatively expressed their intention to support the bill. We still need to quickly and politely ask the other three to support this new bill.
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#7 of 14 Old 02-01-2009, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The Labor, Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on Friday from Andrew Emrich speaking in support of the bill and then the Wyoming Medical Society lobbyist opposing the bill.
There was not enough time to vote on the bill and so the vote will take place on Monday at 7am. The Senators have stated that they want no more testimony and have made their decision. We believe we have the support of Senators Scott, Hunnicutt, Schiffer and Landon!

Be prepared to write more Senators if this passes to the Senate floor (the Committee of the Whole).
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#8 of 14 Old 02-02-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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this is good news! I am eager to hear how the vote turned out this morning!
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#9 of 14 Old 02-02-2009, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We had a HUGE victory this morning when SF 141 passed the Senate Labor, Health and Social Services Committe with all five Senators voting yes! Your work in writing to these men made the difference! Thank you so much for taking an active role and influencing them!

Action Items

1. We need to email the five Senators on the Committee and thank them for their vote.
Sen. Charles Scott charlesscott@wyoming.com
Sen. John Hastert jhastert2@wyoming.com
Sen. John Schiffer jschiffe@wyoming.com
Sen. Rick Hunnicutt rhunnicutt@wyoming.com
Sen. Bill Landen blanden@bresnan.net


2. Please write to your own Senator and Representative now, and ask them to support SF 141. The bill will move to the Senate floor either today or tomorrow. Make sure you identify yourself as a constituent and give your address. Here is a link that will help you identify them http://capwiz.com/hslda/home/

3. Please forward this to others who may be willing to write in.

If you are interested in reading more about out-of-hospital birth and how to support it visit these sites:
http://www.wyomingforbirthoptions.org/
http://cfmidwifery.org/

Thank you for pushing this bill along. Your voices need to be heard!
Shandra Emrich and Brenna Lowry
!!
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#10 of 14 Old 02-02-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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This is so great! I really appreciate you posting the results so quickly!

We do not currently live in Wyoming - we are moving to Gillette in May and the lack of available midwives almost kept us from moving there completely. We found a MW in South Dakota willing to take us when we move - otherwise we would be headed to TX. I will for sure write the commitee members today to thank them for their vote, then write my future state senator in support of this bill.

So just to clarify - now that it has passed commitee, the whole Senate gets to vote? How soon does that happen? Is there any way of projecting what the outcome may be? Also, has a bill like this ever made it this far before? Sorry to ask so many questions - I am really curious & not totally sure of the process.

Please keep us posted!
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#11 of 14 Old 02-05-2009, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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From Wyoming Birth Options

Good news everyone,

The Senate passed the third reading of the SF141 Traditional Birth Bill with a 28 to 2 vote,
Hank Coe and Eli Bebout were the two dissenters.

Please take the time to thank your Senator and if you haven't already, please write to your representative and urge them to support SF
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#12 of 14 Old 02-07-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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I'm speechless! I really didn't think this would pass! Thanks for all the hard work.

I know we're not done, everyone needs to contact their Representative. I contacted mine when I contacted my Senators; he wrote back to say that he's put it in a file to reference when the bill comes to the House. And he was the cosponsor of the very awesome (initially) breastfeeding bill which passed a few years ago (it was watered down a lot, still nice but would have been *awesome* as written) so I have a hunch that he'll support this bill too.

Not all who wander are lost.
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#13 of 14 Old 02-26-2009, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dear Home birth Supporters,
After hearing one bill for 2 hours and then our bill for 2 1/2 hours most of the House Committee was too tired and hungry last night to "work the bill." That means make amendments to satisfy their concerns and pass it through Committee. Since last night was the 11th hour on this bill there is no more time to get it through this year. However, we have received a commitment from Chairman Landon and several other Committee members to write a bill they will support this year and bring it up in next years Budget Session. While we are disappointed that the bill will not go through this year, we are very pleased with their willingness to work on this important issue for Wyoming's families. Thank you for all the time and effort you have put into this bill. There is no way it would have gotten this far without all your phone calls and letters. Please take every opportunity throughout the coming year to talk with your Legislators about this issue and urge them to support the bill in 2010.
Sincerely, Shandra Emrich
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#14 of 14 Old 03-03-2009, 11:42 PM
 
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Dang.

If Chairman Landon is Jack Landon, he cosponsored an *awesome* breastfeeding support bill (which was amended to a minimum a few years ago) -- when I emailed him about this midwife bill, he responded immediately. So I think he's legit in saying he'll work to get it through next year.

....So, this changes what dh and I have been talking about in re: our childbirth options if we decide to have another child in the next year or so.

Not all who wander are lost.
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