Archive for July, 2008
Since everyone has been working so hard to spread the word on the
Midwifery Bill (SB 2636), several people have written in to ask–why do
we need this bill?
In a nutshell, we (the Mass Coalition for Midwifery–a group of midwives
and consumers who birthed with midwives) are working hard to get this
bill passed because there is no regulatory board that oversees midwives
The reason the Newton/Wellesley Birth Place (a freestanding birth center
where my son was born in 2004) closed is because the midwives need a
“patron” OB to “oversee” their practice. Although I saw no OB during my
entire experience at the Birth Place, when the OB who “oversaw” the
midwives retired, the Birth Place closed.
Midwives are competing with docs for turf, and because birth, especially
surgical birth and interventionist birth, is very, very lucrative. The
OBs are fighting like mad to prevent midwives from having more autonomy
in their practices (another thing the bill would provide).
In addition, homebirth midwives (CPMs) are currently not recognized in
MA (as they are in 28 other states). As a result, CPMs are technically
practicing medicine w/o a license. In NY, where, like MA, they also
have no recognized status, they are declared felons. Recently in CT,
which, like NY and CT does not recognize CPMs, 2 midwives had to defend
themselves in criminal court and have been banned from practicing
The bill will create a Board to oversee all midwifery practices,
ensuring better safely standards for women and their families.
Here’s a link to the current text of the Midwifery Bill, Senate 2636.
Please feel free to direct folks to the mfom.org site (Mass Friends of
Midwives) which has lots of info, too.
Please email us at info.mfom.org to let us know if you’ve successfully
reached your Rep’s office and what they responded.
The clock is running down. Any support you can provide is much, much
An update on our progress from an MFOM member..
I know everyone’s been working very, very hard to support the Midwifery
Bill (Senate 2636). As a direct result of all your efforts, Rep. Kay
Khan, our bill’s sponsor, was invited to a meeting with Speaker DiMasi
and Rep. Pedone–the Worcester rep. who has a “hold” on our bill, met
with Rep. Khan to discuss some language changes and request we to call
off our troops and reconvene in September.
Pedone is getting lots of pressure from constituents–many, many thanks
to all the efforts you’ve all made in the Worcester area. Erica
Beecher, a Worcester CPM, was literally going door to door, getting her
neighbors to call in support of the bill.
The House is still in session–they’ll run late tonight and tomorrow to
get as much done as they can before the clock runs out tomorrow.
So the message is: Keep the pressure on.
The docs (ACOG and AMA) are pulling out all the stops now and were at
the State House today lobbying against us. To them, we look smaller
than David did to Goliath.
I know we’re all tired, but now, more than ever, we need you all to keep
calling–even if you already have–AND to spread the word. We’re
fighting the good fight and we’ve come unbelievably far against
incredible odds–all thanks to you.
Please call again and help us to keep the pressure on to get the bill
passed *this session.*
If your rep is one of the listed below, it is so crucial that you call
them to ask them to tell the Speaker to pass the midwifery bill through
this session. If your rep is listed in the second group, they’ve signed
the letter, but it’s very important to say the same thing and add a word
of gratitude for supporting the bill–plus we want to make sure they
don’t waiver under the pressure from ACOG and the AMA.
Please mail us at info.mfom.org to let us know who you called and, if
you reach a person, what they said.
It is a wonderful way to support us in 3 minutes or less! Calling after
hours is fine–just leave a message with your name, address, and phone
number voicing your support off the bill.
Reps who have NOT signed the bill
*Barrows, Fred* – Norwood
Binienda, John – Worcester and Leicester
Casey, Paul – Stoneham/Wincester
Conroy, Tom – Lincoln, Sudbury, Wayland
Costello, Michael – Newburyport
DeLeo, Robert – Winthrop
Ehrlich, Lori – Marblehead/Swampscott/parts of Lynn
Fernandez, John – Milford
Fresolo, John – Worcester
*Gobi, Anne* – Spencer (She did not sign, but supports the bill and
asked Pedone to remove his hold.)
*Hargraves, Robert* – Groton
*Harkins, Lida* – Needham
Kafka, Louis – Sharon
*Koutoujian, Peter *- Newton/Waltham/Watertown
L’Italien, Barbara – Andover (supportive)
Loscocco, Paul – Holliston/Hopkinton/parts Southborough/Westborough
*Malia, Elizabeth* – Boston(11th Suffolk)
Murphy, James – Weymouth
Naughton, Harold – Northborough
Petrolati, Thomas – Ludlow/Chicopee/Parts Springfield
Polito, Karyn – Shrewsbury, parts Westborough
*Rogers, John* – Norwood/Walpole
Sanchez, Jeffrey – Brookline/Boston
Scaccia, Angelo – Milton
Speliotis, Theodore – Danvers/Topsfield/part of Peabody
*Spellane, Robert *- Worcester
*Speranzo, Christopher *- Pittsfield
Stanley, Harriett – Waltham
*St. Fleur, Marie – *Boston
*Sullivan, David* – Fall River
Tobin, Stephen – Quincy
*Vallee, James *- Franklin
*Walrath, Patricia *- Hudson, Maynard, Stow, Bolton
Webster, Daniel – Duxbury/Halifax/Hanson/Pembroke
The following 54 Reps. signed Kay Khan’s letter to Speaker DiMasi – if
you live in their district, please call with a thank you and remind them
you’re counting on their ongoing support.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for such incredible activism you have
already offered to Massachusetts women and families!!!
Keep the pressure on and SPREAD THE WORD!!!
We just got word from Kay Khan that our lobbying efforts are really paying off! The Speaker’s office apparently now is more receptive to the bill and Rep Khan will be meeting with his staff and possibly with The Speaker himself tomorrow (Weds 30 Jul). She asked that we keep up the intense lobbying, so anyone and everyone who can make it, please join us at 11 am tomorrow, Wednesday 30th July at 11 am in the 4th floor coffee shop!
And of course, please keep encouraging friends, family, and neighbors to contact their state representatives!
We are so close!!! Thanks everyone for all your hard work, keep up the effort, we are making a difference!
We are moving forward, slowly but steadily. We are working with our
sponsor Kay Khan. We hear that the Representative who has a hold on
our bill (Pedone of Worcester) is considering a compromise that will make him more
comfortable with some of the provisions. So keep showing support for
your midwives: it’s as vital as ever!!!!!
Rep. Khan has been so diligent advocating for us and getting signatures – she is dogged, determined and wonderful! Please know your calls are having great effect and really getting through the message that families care about their midwives.
Keep the calls and letters coming!
Anyone in Rep. Khan’s district should contact her to let her know how much we appreciate her fantastic advocacy for midwives.
And finally, for those who saw the video, the complete version was uploaded to be viewed now. Send it around to inspire more people to call!!
We are moving slowly but surely forward — keep those calls and letters coming! Rep Pedone has a hold on the bill but is working with our sponsor Kay Khan and considering a possible compromise that will make him more comfortable with some of the provisions.
We will have a Lobby Day TODAY for anyone who can come. Meet in the waiting area of Room 146 in the Annex between 10 and 11 a.m.
We will be working on the final follow-up for signatures for a letter Rep Khan is sending the Speaker. We will have handouts and instructions and experienced people to go with you!
Rep Khan has been so diligent advocating for us and getting signatures — she is dogged, determined and wonderful! Anyone in her district should contact her to let her know how much we appreciate her fantastic advocacy for midwives.