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I am writing to express my full support for bill #S5007/A08117. This bill will amend the requirement for a midwife to have a written agreement with a physician in order to practice midwifery. This written agreement is not necessary for midwives to provide quality care and in actuality, limits their ability to do so by implying that midwives need direct supervision.
Midwives are licensed practitioners who are able to independently provide services of referral, collaboration, and consultation for their clients. Midwifery care is shown to have good outcomes including low cesarean rates, short hospital stays and high rates of breastfeeding among the women they serve. By requiring a written practice agreement, midwifery care is limited by physician accessibility and availability rather than the skill and scope of practice of the midwife.
As a client it is important to me to have the option of midwifery care. If midwives are unable to practice in communities around me because there are limited physicians, or those who are there refuse to sign an agreement this severely limits my birthing options and access to care. Midwives are licensed independent practitioners who are capable of collaborating with other healthcare providers whether there is a written agreement or not. Their care is essential to the wellbeing of New York mothers and babies across the state, especially in areas where there are no practicing physicians available.
By supporting bill #S5007/A08117 you ensure that women across New York State have access to midwifery healthcare. Please support birthing choices for women and a healthy New York.