Legislators Discuss Lay Midwifery

midwife protestOn Tuesday afternoon the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services met in Raleigh to discuss a number of healthcare issues, including the licensure of lay midwives.  The General Assembly has adjourned its 2012 Session. Therefore, no bill was up for debate at this meeting and no votes were taken.

Advocates for licensure of Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) spoke in support of a second state licensing board to regulate midwifery in North Carolina, and allow them the ability to attend deliveries without supervision in the home setting. Under current law, midwives must have a nursing degree and work under the supervision of a physician regardless of birth setting.

CPMs fail to meet the minimum education requirements for legal practice in North Carolina and lack the necessary training to safely attend childbirth. With reports of six neonatal fatalities and even more NICU admissions per 350 CPM attended births in NC last year – the risk to mother and child is astonishing.  One of every 58 births resulting in death is unacceptable and unnecessary.

For these reasons, the NCMS opposes the licensure of CPMs and will continue to advocate for the highest standards of patient safety within our state.

After the conclusion of the hearing at the Legislative Office Building, a group of about 11 adults and several small children braved the cold and rain to stand on a corner outside the NCMS building with signs protesting the Medical Society’s position on licensure of lay midwives. The protest lasted about 45 minutes and didn’t attract much attention from passers-by or any inquiries from the media.

Here are documents supplied by CPM advocates during the HHS Oversight Committee Meeting.


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