Status of Birth in Hawai'i
I think it is safe to say we all agree that a woman should have the right to choose her provider, her birth setting and her pain management modality.
Many of you are aware that in the US there are two mainstream paths into midwifery, one results in the Certified Professional Midwife credential (the only mainstream path that requires out of hospital experience) and the other results in the Certified Nurse-Midwife credential. The midwifery sisters from both of these paths offer safe, empowering, and low intervention birth in a variety of settings. Almost all homebirths are attended by Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), both in Hawai'i and the US.
In 2012, there were 345 planned homebirths in Hawai'i. This number may soon be close to zero.
Legislation, Senate Bill No. 2569, was introduced in the State Senate of Hawai'i 27th Legislature in January 2014. The Bill describes who will be legally allowed to practice midwifery in Hawai'i. CPMs have been left out of the bill. On Maui, that would mean all the midwives attending homebirths would be practicing illegally if this bill passes.
Stop SB2569, Relating to Home Birth
The Midwives Alliance of Hawai'i is currently working with The Big Push, an organization which provides strategic planning and message development for state consumer and midwifery groups that are actively working on legislation to license Certified Professional Midwives.
There are several ways you can help:
- Call and email your legislators in the House and Senate and ask them to 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 pregnant women seeking their care.
- To find out who your legislators are and how to contact them, go here: www.capitol.hawaii.gov/findleg.aspx?street=Enter%20Street%20Name
- Become a member of the Midwives Alliance of Hawai'i
- Make a donation
- Join the Midwives Alliance of Hawai'i Facebook page and watch for updates
- Join Hapai Hawai'i, the local chapter of the Birth Network, a consumer group