Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Government control over midwifery

The Idaho legislature passed a bill in 2009 that attacks the family's right to freedom in midwifery care and will have devastating consequences when it becomes law on July 1, 2010:

Families in Idaho will no longer have the right to choose who will deliver their baby at home; licensed midwives are the only legal option.

Some women (with certain health conditions) will be left with no option for midwifery care for their home birth.

Midwifery as it has always been practiced, without drugs and without licensing, will now be a felony on the second offense.

Some areas of Idaho will no longer have midwifery services for home births.

The Mandatory Midwifery Licensure Law which is causing all these problems and many more can be easily fixed by simply amending the law to make it a voluntary licensure. Under a voluntary licensure, the licensed midwives would be able to get access to the drugs they want, while unlicensed midwives would be able to practice as they always have, without drugs and without government regulations. This freedom in midwifery care would allow Idaho families to choose which type of midwifery best suits their unique circumstances.

Representative Pete Nielsen is introducing this voluntary amendment to the Midwifery Law. There is a lot of resistance in the legislature to this amendment. But if we don't make them fix it now, it will only be harder once it's in place.

In order to accomplish this monumental task, we need to apply a full-court press right from the start and keep it on strong. Our goal must be to push it through the House in one month. If it takes another month to get it through the Senate, we can get it on the Governor's desk for a signature right about the time the legislature adjourns for the year.


The House Health & Welfare Committee Members must first vote on whether to even allow Rep. Nielsen's amendment to become a bill. If they don't allow it, it is essentially dead this time around.

Please contact the Committee Members right away and let them know that you support amending the Midwifery Law to make licensure voluntary. You can copy and paste all their email addresses into one email:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Or if you would prefer to contact them another way, click here,

then select HOUSE Health & Welfare Committee.

A Midwifery Report is available for more information; an easier-to-read version pops up when you click print.

For freedom in midwifery care,

Mirelle Stevens, consumer of midwifery

(208) 478-8683

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