Calling all Hawaiians! Below, an urgent message from Midwives Alliance of Hawai’i on a proposed bill that would severely restrict women’s access to midwives in Hawai’i:
The Senators aren’t gonna know what hit them…can’t mess with empowered women/mothers and not expect a fight!? SHARE share share! URGENT! The Hawaii legislature has just introduced SB2569, a bill that criminalizes every home birth midwife in the state who is not a Certified Nurse-Midwife.
Worse, SB2569 imposes so many restrictions on nurse-midwives and naturopaths providing out-of-hospital care and on the women seeking their care that it will all but outlaw home birth in Hawaii.
We need you to call or email your legislators today with a simple message:
Please stop SB2569, Relating to Home Birth, a bill that will criminalize nearly all home birth midwives in the state and will deny access to women seeking their care.
To find out who your legislators in the State Assembly and State Senate are and how to contact them, please go here: http://1.usa.gov/1hb9vDL Do NOT make calls or send emails to any legislators other than your own, and please send this urgent message to family and friends and ask them to call or email their legislators today!
As if criminalizing Certified Professional Midwives and other midwives providing home birth care in our state isn’t bad enough, SB2569 will also:
- Deny care to any woman seeking an out-of-hospital birth, including VBAC mothers, who doesn’t meet the bill’s narrow definition of “low risk”
- Require all women seeking a home birth to be told they must be examined by a physician whether it is medically indicated or not.
- Violate women’s medical privacy by requiring home birth providers to report a woman’s “intent to give birth at home” to the State Department of Health, potentially endangering women by exposing their private medical information to partners or family members who don’t agree with their birth choices.
- Mandate that a woman be forced to undergo “immediate emergency transport to a medical facility” when she experiences any variation in normal labor patterns, as determined by the Board of Medicine and an advisory board with a majority membership of OBs and other physicians, L&D nurses, State Department of health staff, and only one public member and no CPMs or out-of-hospital midwives.
- Give broad discretionary powers to the Board of Medicine to police the activities of home birth midwives, allowing it to create any “any lawful rule, order or subpoena . . . in lieu of or in addition to any remedy provided in this section” to investigate and prosecute home birth providers.
- Insult the intelligence of home birth mothers by forcing them to sign a so-called informed consent document that relies on junk science to claim that there is an increased risk of neonatal mortality associated with home birth.
We can’t allow such a backwards piece of legislation that sits in clear violation of the rights of women and their families to choose midwives and home birth to pass. If this bill becomes law, it will put Hawaii dead last on the list of states with family-centered midwife laws that respect the rights of women to make informed and evidence-based decisions about their personal maternity care choices.