Advocating for Birth Centers and Midwifery on the Hill

Posted By: Kate Bauer AABC News Release,

This week, representatives from the American Association of Birth Centers, the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM), the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), and the Policy Institute for Community Birth and Midwifery (PICB) visited the Hill to meet with legislative staffers about key issues for midwives, birth centers, and our clients and families.  Congressional staffers for both Republican and Democrat legislators were supportive of expanding access to midwifery to help relieve maternity care provider shortages in their states.   

Discussion during meetings in the House and in the Senate focused on the Midwives for MOMS bill (H.R. 3768/S.1851) and other pending legislation including the BABIES Act.  The BABIES Act is expected to be reintroduced later this fall.

The Midwives for MOMS bill would provide scholarships for midwifery students, support to expand schools of midwifery and provide support to expand access to preceptors for students.  This funding would be available to students in all midwifery certification programs including CPM, CM, and CNM. 

This legislation is being co-sponsored by bipartisan legislators including Representatives Ashley Hinson (R-IA) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ)  and Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

AABC lobbyist Debbie Jessup commented that the four groups collaborating to make visits made the case for the need to increase education for midwives in a much stronger way than just one organization making visits alone. She said, "I am absolutely sure that we left everyone we met with much more knowledgeable and midwifery friendly!"