FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2014
Consumers and Lawmakers Support Home Birth Safety Act
Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, and Sen. Paul Bussman, R-Cullman, are taking a different approach this year to legalizing midwifery in the state. House Bill 67, and Senate Bill 99, "The Home Birth Safety Act", would decriminalize the practice of Certified Professional Midwifes (CPMs). CPMs are highly trained, nationally certified, specialized to the out-of-hospital birth setting, and currently authorized to practice in 28 states.
Since 2003, the Alabama Birth Coalition (ABC) has worked to regulate the practice of out-of-hospital midwifery through state-issued permits or licenses, but has not been successful due to intense lobbying from the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, which does not support home birth. Proponents say because it's legal to have a baby at home, it should be legal to have appropriately trained assistance. Home birthing parents and midwifery professionals will continue to work towards state licensure as the ideal but are seeking this compromise in order to provide immediate relief to families choosing home birth in the state.
Women choose to give birth in alternative settings for cultural, religious, economic, and personal reasons. The Alabama Department of Public Health reports that between 2005-2012, 1,448 out-of-hospital births occurred in state. Among that number are women who gave birth without any professional assistance. The women broke no laws by giving birth unsupported but any skilled midwife would have risked prosecution had they assisted. According to Rep. Ball, "It's an informed choice that a mother makes about how to have her baby and, the fact is, a lot of people are doing it anyway," he said. "This would improve care."
For more information, visit www.alabamabirthcoalition.org or find the organization on Facebook. The Alabama Birth Coalition (ABC) is a 501c4 non-profit, grassroots organization.
"The freedom in a country can be measured by the freedom of birth." - Ágnes Geréb
Join us for a free screening of the film, "Freedom For Birth: The Mothers' Revolution": Friday, June 7, 2013 at the Villiage Church in Huntsville, Al.
"Freedom for Birth" is described by the filmmakers as a documentary about the abuse of human rights in childbirth around the world. The film tells the powerful story of Agnes Gereb, a Hungarian midwife imprisoned for helping to give women choice in birth. It features the story of how a Hungarian mother, Anna Ternovsky, who wanted a home birth with Agnes, took her country to the European Court of Human Rights and won a landmark case which might have changed the world! Also in the film are over 40 of the world's leading birth experts including: Ina May Gaskin, Sheila Kitzinger, Sarah Buckley, Robbie Davis-Floyd and Michel Odent.
At the conclusion of the film, we will read a personal account of an Alabama midwife's arrest and prosecution and open the floor for Q&A.
There is no cost to attend, but a "love offering" for ABC will be taken after the film. More information is available on Alabama Birth Coalition's facebook page.
In the next few weeks, we are in need of 2,000 signatures for the following petition:
"Petition To The Alabama State Legislature:
We the people declare that Alabama families need and deserve increased access to midwives. We request legislation be passed to license Certified Professional Midwives."
By signing this petition you agree to release your contact information to Alabama Birth Coalition. Your contact information will not be sold. If you do not already receive Alabama Birth Coalition email alerts, please sign the petition by filling out your contact information: click here to sign.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 17, 2013
Midwife Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM To Speak Across Alabama On:
“Best Practices: Closing The Gap
The JJ WAY® - A Model for Reducing Disparities
and Improving Outcomes in Perinatal Health”
The Alabama Birth Coalition continues its work toward the goal of healthy Alabama moms and babies through hosting legendary midwife Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM, on a speaking tour across Alabama to address solutions to racial disparities in perinatal outcomes. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Alabama’s black babies die at over double the rates that its white babies do, and black infants continue to be at disproportionate risks for preterm birth and resulting complications.1
Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM’s model of care, the The JJ WAY®, has been shown to dramatically improve outcomes in an at-risk population. Her Orlando, Florida midwifery practice was featured in the documentary “No Woman, No Cry” which aired on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. Mrs. Joseph is a published author and esteemed lecturer. Among numerous awards and nominations, Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM was awarded the Women’s Resource Center Summit Award in 2007 for her work in reducing disparities and improving outcomes.
The Coalition invites health and social workers and the general public to hear Mrs. Joseph lecture, and to honor Black History Month through viewing Bringin’ In Da Spirit, a documentary which recognizes the contributions of black midwives to public health. Lecture/film screening events are scheduled in Huntsville, Montevallo, Tuskegee, and Anniston.
Huntsville: The Village Church, Friday, February 22, 2013 at 7:00pm. The Huntsville event is in partnership with The Village Church. $5 donation at the door.
Montevallo: The University of Montevallo, Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 1:00pm. The Montevallo event is in partnership with The University of Montevallo and BirthWell Partners. $5 donation at the door/free to University of Montevallo Students and Staff with ID.
Tuskegee: Tuskegee University optional tour at 6:00pm and St. Andrews Episcopal Church 7:30pm for film and lecture, Saturday, February 23, 2013. The Tuskegee event is in partnership with Tuskegee University’s Department of History and Political Science, The National Park Service and St. Andrews Episcopal Church. The Tuskegee event is free of charge.
Anniston: Mcclellan’s Restaurant, Sunday February 24, 2013 at 2:30pm. The Anniston event is in partnership with Cheaha Women's Health and Wellness. $5 donation at the door.
For more information on the events, please visit the Alabama Birth Coalition’s web site at , or find the organization on Facebook. For more information on Jennie Joseph, CPM, LM, and the The JJ WAY®, please visit www.jenniejoseph.com.
1. Alabama Perinatal Health Act, Annual Progress Report For Year 2012, Plan For Year 2013. State and Regional Perinatal Advisory Councils and The Bureau of Family Health Services, Alabama Department of Public Health.