A bill has been passed that will allow midwives to attend homebirths in Alabama, United States of America, for the first time in 40 years.
New state law was approved overwhelmingly in the Alabama Senate following 13 years of lobbying by organisations and some of Alabama’s leading medical associations.
Leading the effort to get the Bill passed, Vice President of the Alabama Birth Coalition, Courtney Sirmon, said: “It was the culmination of work that Alabama mothers and families have put together for the last 13 years. It was a monumental day for Alabama mothers, and it was amazing to see the representatives and senators come together to work for us and really listen to us, and make sure it got done this session.”
The Medical Association of the State of Alabama were the most vocal opponents to legalise midwives at homebirths.
Director of the Medical Association, Mark Jackson, said: “While the Medical Association remains concerned about the safety of at-home births, we are satisfied that the amendments added to the legislation will provide an added level of protection for mothers and infants that was not contained in the original bill.”
He said that the amendments made to the Bill before it was passed alleviated some concerns about the liability protection of doctors and hospitals who ‘care for midwives’ patients who experience complications’.
To practice midwifery in the United States of America, midwives must have the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) accreditation that proves they have met the education and certification standard requirements outlined by the North American Registry of Midwives.
Keep up to date with the latest research and news from MIDIRS by subscribing to our quarterly academic journal. Subscribe to MIDIRS Midwifery Digest