Missouri State Medical Association plans to sue the state over the new law which legalizes Midwifery. HB818 was signed into law by the Governor and would allow Certified Professional Midwives to legally practice in Missouri starting in August 2007. The MSMA is pulling out every stop to keep this from happening. Their newest tactic is filing a lawsuit against the state claiming that the law is unconstitutional. From their own website, www.msma.org :
"Through this powerful alliance of organized medicine, we will advocate of behalf of women's health and safety during childbirth by challenging this unconstitutional language."
Okay, let's start with the health and safety issue. The TRUTH is that homebirth with a Midwife is at least as safe, if not safer, than a hospital birth. There is no evidence whatsoever to the contrary, only evidence in favor of Midwifery and homebirth. This has been said time and time again, to the state legislature, to the MSMA, to the media, and so on. Don't take my word for it, look it up online and you'll see that according to the British Medical Journal the statistics point to Midwifery. In fact, the World Health Organization recommends Midwives as the optimal birth attendants for normal pregnancy and birth. For more information on this, check out the Citizens for Midwifery website at www.cfmidwifery.org
Now let's go for the "unconstitutional" part of their argument. The tactic used to pass this law, tacking it on to another bill, is routinely used at the Capitol and has been for years. This is not a new technique.
Obviously, the MSMA is not really concerned with women's health, safety, and freedom. They are only using this as a crutch for their weak arguments.
Another quote from their website:
"The new sentence grants unprecedented authority to a wide range of professionals, including lay midwives, nurse anesthetists, brick masons, professional golfers, and even ministers."
The sentence they are referring to says nothing of nurses, brick masons, or professional golfers. Furthermore, it specifically states that only persons with tocological certification by an organization accredited by the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA) may provide services. Last time I checked, professional golfers and such did not have tocological certification. For reference, tocological means "obstetrics". This definition can be found very quickly and easily by an internet search or by looking in a medical dictionary.
Everything else aside, this still goes back to the fact that it's not ANYONE's right, authority, or anything else to tell me who can attend my birth. The MSMA needs to put aside their egos and remember that they all took an oath, "First, do no harm". Harm is being done here and women are not going to stand idly by and let it happen.
If you feel that you deserve the right to have your baby where and with whom you choose, then please act now. Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, call your legislator, call the governor, talk to anyone and everyone you can about how wrong this is!!
"When women stand up for their rights and realize they will have to fight, we won't just go away." Ballad of the Midwife
Blessings and Peace