Illinois House Approves Bill to Licensing Professional Midwives Capitolnewsillinois.com

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Evanston’s Democratic Representative Robyn Gabel speaks in the House Thursday in Springfield. She garnered bipartisan support for Bill 3401, which would allow the regulation of certified professional midwives in Illinois. (Credit: Blueroomstream.com)

Illinois to join 35 other states that allow the profession

By SARAH MANSUR
Capitol News Illinois
[email protected]

SPRINGFIELD – The profession of certified professional midwifery in Illinois took one step closer to becoming an officially licensed profession Thursday with the passage of House Bill 3401.

HB 3401 creates the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act, which would allow those who deliver outside the hospital and who have acquired the credentials associated with the profession of professional midwife.

The bill, sponsored by Evanston’s Democratic Representative Robyn Gabel, garnered bipartisan support, with only one Republican and one Democrat voting against.

Gabel said the Illinois State Medical Society, the Illinois Nurses Association, the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association are among the many medical groups supporting the bill.

“This will make (certified professional midwives) legitimate, legal, licensed and safe,” Gabel told the Chamber. “This is a group of midwives who are trained to deliver at home, and that’s what they do. Until now, it was illegal in this state to do this, and they couldn’t get insurance, they couldn’t be transferred to the hospital, they couldn’t talk to a doctor.

The bill “makes them legal, so they can now try to get insurance, they can have a relationship with a hospital so they can transfer a baby if that were to happen,” Gabel said.

CPMs are currently licensed in 35 states and Washington, DC

The bill defines midwifery practice as “the means of providing the necessary supervision, care and advice to a client during low risk pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period, including childbirth. expected low risk of a child, and provide normal care to newborns. “

The definition specifically excludes the practice of nursing and medicine. The bill distinguishes between a certified professional midwife and a certified nurse midwife, which is a separate profession that requires a nursing degree.

Certified professional midwives are accredited by the North American Registry of Midwives, which issued its first CPM accreditation in 1994, according to the NARM website.

In addition to NARM certification, the bill also requires the completion of a post-secondary midwifery education program through an institution, program or path accredited by Midwife Education and Accreditation Council, which is defined in the bill as the nationally recognized accreditation body that sets standards for midwifery education in the United States

A NARM-accredited midwife who has not completed a MEAC program can still be licensed if she has practiced as a CPM for more than three years and gain other certifications.

The bill also creates an Illinois Board of Midwives that could recommend revisions to the Certified Professional Midwifery Practice Act, among other duties, and directs the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to ‘administer and enforce legislation.

Representative Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, voted against the bill, citing opposition from the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, which is a group defending plaintiff attorneys who represent injured victims, often in misconduct cases medical and wrongful death.

“My understanding is that the consultant providing the consultation, whether it is a doctor or a hospital, and the midwife followed this careless advice, they would not be liable under your bill and that is the problem. Therefore, I will not be able to support your bill today. I want to support him, ”Hoffman said.

Representative Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, said the bill goes far enough to provide sufficient liability protections.

In the committee process, Moeller said, health care providers said that “maintaining the language that encourages collaboration between doctors, nurses and midwives” was “incredibly important”, as was “ensuring that the responsibility is neither widened nor more limited according to this. collaboration.”

“Removing that language would actually create a chilling effect and lead to a more dangerous situation where you would have parts that would not work together for the benefit of mother and baby in the home birth,” said Moeller. “And the point is, right now we know home births are happening in Illinois, but they’re happening in a very unregulated and potentially dangerous way.”

Republican CD Davidsmeyer, a Republican from Jacksonville, also opposed the bill because it lacks a requirement that CPMs have an affiliation with a physician.

The bill, however, requires that a CPM see a doctor or certified nurse midwife if the pregnant woman has certain complications, such as abnormal lab results or specific risk factors.

The bill passed 105 to 2 and heads to the State Senate for further debate.

Capitol News Illinois is a non-profit, non-partisan news service covering state government and distributed to over 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.


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