MMA Update

by admin on July 12, 2010

We are all still celebrating our incredible victory in New York State Legislature. We want to say again what a wonderful job you all did making your voices heard and helping get the Midwifery Modernization Act passed! It has been quiet for the past week as the midwives and consumer advocates organize for the final step, which is the governor signing the bill into law. We fully expect this will happen, given the overwhelming bipartisan support in both the Assembly and the Senate. However, the bill needs to land on his desk with a strong showing of support from the citizens of New York State.

We are predicting this will happen soon. When it does, we will be calling upon all of you to contact the governor by letter (snail mail or fax) when the moment is right.  It is a good idea to begin crafting a personal letter now, so that when you receive notice that the governor has the legislation on his desk we can flood his office with positive support for the bill.

This will be incredibly important because The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) continues to lobby against the best interest and health of New York State women and babies. That is, they are encouraging the governor NOT to sign.  It is important that we stay unified in our message and movement until the bill is signed into law.

When we arrive at the moment for sending letters, we will have some sample messages for you.  We are waiting to write those until we know exactly what the letters should say. As you begin to draft your letter, however, keep in mind the following things:

The MMA will effectively remove the Written Practice Agreement from the law, which will give New York State women and babies more access to midwives.

Midwives are highly educated, licensed and independent health care professionals who are obligated to collaborate with appropriate physicians when the need arises.

Midwifery care is cost effective and associated with better health outcomes for women and babies.

This bill does not cost the state of New York anything! (please consider highlighting this point for the governor who is probably overwhelmed by budget concerns).

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In other related news, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has released a meta-analysis of planned home birth that erroneously claims that lower medical interventions in homebirths are linked to higher neo-natal mortality.

Numerous research-savvy professionals have already highlighted the many shortcomings of this analysis. Please check out this handful of critiques so that we can all be educated about the many flaws in this paper. If we as a community of birth advocates can understand the problems with this study, we can remain well informed about what the evidence actually shows, and can counter fear-based responses to the article.  Here are the links :
Science & Sensibility

Birth Sense

A Summary by Jennifer Block

The Big Push for Midwives- Press Release

ACNM’s Letter of Concern

Coalition for Improving Maternity Services- Press Release

CBC News Article

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Be on the lookout for an action alert once the legislation hits the governor’s desk keep an eye out on facebook for news and updates.

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