Legislation signed to streamline regulation of midwifery birthing centres in New York, US

on 10 January 2022

Legislation to ensure the governing of licensing, establishment and operation of midwifery birth centres in New York are consistent with the Midwifery Practice Act has been signed by Governor Kathy Hochul.

The legislation will ensure a streamlined process for midwifery birth centres obtaining an operating certificate as an Article 28 facility for a midwifery birthing centre which will be accredited by an accredited organisation.

It aims to provide less obstacles for more midwifery birthing centres to open, providing more choice for pregnant women on where to give birth.

In a press release, Governor Hochul said: “Those who give birth deserve to be able to choose the best setting for themselves to do so. For too long, midwifery centers have faced undue obstacles in their paths to opening, creating a severe lack of these practices throughout our state. I am proud to sign legislation to remove these barriers and give New Yorkers welcoming children into this world a wider range of options for where they will deliver.”

Senator Gustavo Rivera said: “It is our responsibility to ensure pregnant women, particularly women of color who have historically faced significant health disparities and sheer medical racism, receive the professional and safe maternal care they deserve. I want to thank Governor Hochul for signing this important bill into law as I strongly believe that these midwifery centers will allow women to give birth with dignity."

Assembly Member Richard Gottfried highlighted the importance of midwifery saying: “Midwives are a well-established licensed profession in New York, with a long record of success. Midwife-led birth centers promote wellness-based birth in a supportive environment. Research shows that these facilities have fewer labor inductions, outstanding safety records, and successful parent bonding outcomes.”