Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Call my state rep again, you ask?

On the importance of contacting your Illinois state representative, yet again.

We have asked you many times to make these contacts. Please keep up the effort. It doesn't matter how many times you have called, because you are providing brand new information. As Colette posted earlier today, the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) has removed its opposition to the Home Birth Safety Act.

Although I have contacted my representative many times about this bill, I just sent him another email. I thanked him for his ongoing consideration of this important issue, and I updated him on the news about the INA and that the Bill's sponsors are pushing the legislation this session.

Recently, I attended the Annual Meeting of the Campaign for Better Health Care. Leaders of this group confirmed the importance of on-going communication with legislators from constituents. It's up to us to keep our reps informed about changes that they be not be aware of.

Like many of you, I have spent years on this issue. I have had the privilege of serving as a Board Member of the Coalition for Illinois Midwifery (CFIM) as the Home Birth Safety Act (SB 385) advanced through our General Assembly, and I fondly remember serving on the Board of Illinois Families For Midwifery (another privilege) years before the existence of CFIM. I have observed and learned quite a bit about advancing legislation through these years. This call for action is special. Things are so different now. We have great feedback coming from Springfield. Our legislative sponsors are directing us to PUSH NOW. We have a coalition of health care organizations working with us, supporting us and embracing us. The last meeting I attended with leaders in our state's nursing community was "warm and friendly". Honestly.

This is not just another rally and call to action. This is THE RALLY AND CALL TO ACTION. This is your opportunity to be part of Illinois' midwifery herstory. More importantly, this is our story. We own it. It's our celebration. Start typing emails tonight. Call your representative tomorrow. Contact your friends and family, associates and members of your religious communities, Don't forget to make your travel arrangements for Springfield January 12 and 13.

Best Wishes for a safe and happy holiday season,

Michelle S. Breen, MHS
Vice-President and Acting President
Coalition for Illinois Midwifery

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