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Rep Khan and Midwifery Supporters Host Legislative Briefing





Jessica Petrone                                                                           Ann Sweeney

Massachusetts Midwives Alliance (MMA)                                  Massachusetts Friends of                                                              Midwives (MFOM)


Representative Kay Khan and Midwifery Supporters Host Legislative Briefing: Midwifery: The Importance of Creating an Integrated Health Care Model


BOSTON, MA – March 13, 2014 – Representative Kay Khan and Senator Richard Moore held a State House briefing on Wednesday titled: Midwifery -The Importance of Creating an Integrated Health Care Model. The briefing was to discuss their pending legislation: HB 2008/SB 1081, An Act Relative to Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs). The bill, which has almost ¼ of the Massachusetts legislature signed on as cosponsors, would create state oversight of CPMs - the primary attendants for families seeking home births in the state.


The briefing highlighted how CPMs as experts in out-of-hospital births provide safe, cost-effective maternity care for families choosing to birth at home.  The briefing also emphasized the importance of establishing state oversight of the profession.


Attendees heard from various experts supporting the legislation including: Jennifer Retsinas, M.D. - OB/GYN at Cambridge Health Alliance; Jessica Petrone, CPM - Certified Professional Midwife; Eugene Declercq, Ph.D. – Professor at Boston University School of Public Health; Sarah Whedon, Ph.D. - Midwifery Consumer; and Judy Norsigian - Executive Director of Our Bodies Ourselves.


“It is critical for the future of maternal health care that we establish oversight for the homebirth midwives practicing in the Commonwealth. Not only will it ensure accountability and offer families secure options for choosing to deliver their child at home, but it will reduce medical costs, promote collaboration amongst healthcare professionals, and improve public safety for consumers,” stated Representative Khan, the House sponsor of the bill.


The bill is supported by CPMs, Certified Nurse Midwives, a number of OB/GYNS and other physicians, public health experts, and consumers and advocacy organizations.*  At the November 2013 Public Health Committee hearing, legislators received a packet of 27 pieces of written testimony, a petition with nearly 500 signatures of Massachusetts residents, fact sheets, research studies, and information on the increase in home birth nationally and locally, as well as the potential for cost savings. 


Representative Khan and advocates urged the Public Health Committee to report the bill out favorably as they have done in previous sessions and allow the bill to advance to the next step in the legislative process.


* ACLU of Massachusetts, Amnesty International, Massachusetts NOW, Mass Friends of Midwives, Massachusetts League of Women Voters, Our Bodies Ourselves, and the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts