|Make Time Before the Election|
Do you think your legislators know about you and your birth center? If they don’t know you, then how can you expect them to advocate for you?
If the answer to the first question is no, then you MUST call them and have them visit your birth center before the election – and that’s less than a month away!
Don’t have time? We know all of you are busy, but can you deputize that great client of yours or a staff member to make the call (phone numbers below) or send the letter (also below)?
Here is a letter you can 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 before the election 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 315 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com.
If you do nothing, then you cannot complain if nothing changes.