-- MaryAnn Griffin
Indiana midwives have finally achieved a route to achieve legal status!
It's been a long fight, extended over two decades. Until now, it has been a felony to provide midwifery services in Indiana. Yet it is estimated more than 1,000 Indiana families choose homebirth every year. And over the years, many Indiana midwives faced charges, endured arrests, posted bail, and app
eared before judges. Families of all backgrounds have gathered at county courthouses asking for access to community midwives, carrying babies and signs of support.
In 2012, in reaction to yet another arrest, MANA wrote letters to state legislators and the governor requesting that the state stop prosecuting midwives and begin regulating. We know that states where midwifery is legalized--in and out of hospitals--is where we find families with access to care that is safe, affordable, and results in the best outcomes.
As well, we would like to acknowledge the steadfast and agile support The Big Push for Midwives has provided to Indiana over the years. These folks do amazing work. Please drop in for a website visit and help them keep the lights on.
There is still work ahead. Indiana's new law provides certification, rather than licensure. Some of the provisions are less than ideal, such as the requirement that midwives have an informal collaborative agreement with a physician and that mothers see a physician twice at prescribed times during her pregnancy. The Indiana strategy will require much more work as rules and regulations are written and more legislative work as midwives push for complete autonomy.
For those who have worked for so many years to attain any state recognition beyond an arrest record, this is a hard-won victory.
MANA is happy to celebrate with Indiana! We hold dear the many midwives who have given years of their lives to create this change.