Bill to decriminalize Alabama midwifery passes Senate committee

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An Alabama Senate committee on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow certified professional midwives to legally practice in the Yellowhammer State.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill, sponsored Moulton-Republican state Rep. Ken Johnson , 9-2.

The committee also approved an amendment Rainbow City-Republican Sen. Phil Williams offered that would mandate certified midwives to carry liability insurance. It also requires mothers and midwives to have a written emergency plan in place at least 30 days prior to the mother’s expected due date.

Currently, state law says it’s a misdemeanor offense to practice midwifery without a license issued by the state Board of Nursing and the Board of Medical Examiners. Meanwhile, midwifery is legal and regulated in 31 states, including neighboring states Florida and Tennessee.
Supporters of the bill call today’s vote a victory for Alabama midwives.
“It passed!!!,” the Alabama Birth Coalition posted on their Facebook page. “We are so thankful for the favorable report from the Judiciary committee today. On to the Senate floor! We will explain the amendment in more detail later, but supporters…. this is a time to celebrate and remain positive and hopeful!!”

The bill will now move to the full Senate for consideration. It has already passed the State House, 84-11.

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