Hosting a Visit with Elected Officials at Your Birth Center
Elected officials are largely unfamiliar with the role of birth centers in maternity care today in the United States. It is incumbent on each of us to do our part to educate local, state and federal elected officials from our parts of the nation to ensure that when important issues are raised they have at least a base of understanding.
To this end, AABC calls upon its members to take action and invite your elected officials to visit your birth center during this election season. The month of August is a good time to catch member of Congress at home campaigning but also leave open the option of visits in September and October. What is most important is that you submit your request now for them to visit you. You may also want to invite local and state officials as well.
To assist with this effort AABC’s lobbyists in Washington, DC, have put together contact information for your federal elected officials in your area.
Here is a draft of an invitation letter you might wish to send to your elected officials:
“I am contacting you as a constituent and operator of a small business in our community providing access to maternity care services. The «Employer_Name» has been serving our community since [date]. We would be honored to have [Representative Jane Smith/Senator Jane Smith] visit our birth center during the month of August or at another convenient time prior to the election in November. Please contact me at «Employer_Phone_Area_Code»-«Employer_Phone» and «Email_Address» to arrange a time that will be convenient.
“There are more than 300 free standing birth centers in the United States, which offer women a home-like, comfortable setting where they can receive maternity care with appropriate levels of intervention. Relationship, continuity of care, and increased time spent with clients are core components of birth center care. Multiple studies demonstrate that birth center care is safe, cost-effective, and leads to excellent outcomes when care is provided according to AABC Standards. Continuous risk screening is a key component of birth center care. Women are screened for risk status throughout pregnancy care, labor, and birth to ensure they are appropriate for the birth center setting.
“Freestanding birth centers are currently under-utilized in the United States, with only 18,219 births or 0.5 percent of all U.S. births occurring in birth centers in 2014. Though the percentage of women who currently give birth in birth centers is low, it is increasing. There has been a 75 percent increase in the number of birth center births in the last ten years.
“Thank you for consideration of this request. We look forward to your visit.”
Note: Please make appropriate changes to the bracketed sections of this message. See below for names of your federal representatives.
Please email the letter you send to each Congressperson to the AABC National Office and a confirmation of the visit so that we can follow-up these elected officials. email: email@example.com
. Also, please send or email AABC photos of the visit for inclusion in future AABC publications.
Finally, when a visit is scheduled please reach out to AABC’s lobbyists in Washington, D.C. They will help with advice about the elected official and other items including possible media opportunities with you. They can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
(NOTE: This section is personalized for each birth center, so please let us know if you did not receive it so we can send it again.)
• The House of Representatives member for your birth center is «Representative». Their scheduler is «Rep_Scheduler» and can be reached at «Rep_Scheduler_Email»
• The Junior Senator in your state is «Junior_Senator». Their scheduler is «JrSen_Scheduler» and can be reached at «JrSen_Scheduler_Email»
• The Senior Senator in your state is «Senior_Senator». Their scheduler is «SrSen_Scheduler» and can be reached at «SrSen_Scheduler_Email»
Want to make this a bit more fun?
Congressional visits are critically important if we want Washington to know what birth centers are all about. So, for every letter that you send to your congress people, send one to us (email@example.com
) and you will get one entry for an exclusive Peace on Earth Begins with Birth bag. Deadline for these letters to be sent to Congressional leaders and AABC to be entered into the drawing is September 15.
For every visit you schedule let us know and you will receive two entries into the drawing.
When you submit your photo of the visit to AABC you will receive a newly designed AABC mug and three entries into the drawing.
All photos should be digitally submitted to AABC by September 15 (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or bring the photo (AABC will not be able to print photos on site at the convention) to the 10th Annual Birth Institute in Pittsburgh where they will be displayed.