Thursday, January 22, 2009

IFFM & CFIM launch facebook group

Yesterday Illinois Families for Midwifery and the Coalition for Illinois Midwifery launched a facebook group. In just a day, we have nearly 100 members, including three state legislators! 

If you belong to facebook, please visit and join our group 

Help us spread the word! Put our group url in your facebook status status.

( is a social networking sight. We are not affiliated with facebook in any way, other than spreading the word about the great need for licensed home birth midwives in Illinois, or individually, for personal reasons.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Contact your State rep and ask him (or her) to sponsor HB 226 today!

Dear everyone who values childbirth freedom:

We have a new bill number! For this session, we will be working on, and hopefully passing (!) House Bill 226, the Home Birth Safety Act.

As the new legislative session begins, we are nearing the end of our journey. I am enclosing a message from our lobbyist, about the progress we made at the end of the last session. 

As you may already know, our opponents, many of the state's doctors groups, spearheaded by the Illinois State Medical Society, have been lobbying very hard against the Home Birth Safety Act. Legislators are used to relying on these groups, particularly the ISMS, for information regarding the healthcare needs of Illinois. Sadly, the Medical Society has not entirely accurate in their portrayal of the issues surrounding home birth. Legislators, particularly in the House, do understand the need to support home birth by licensing midwives. 

We are working diligently to bring accurate, and true information to your state rep, but there's something we will never be able to do, that only YOU can do ... meet with your own state representative, face-to-face, so they can see that people in their own district, normal, every day folks, need midwives, and that licensing certified professional midwives is the answer to the shortage crisis that grips our community. 

Organized medicine is painting home birth as a patently bad choice, and, like the majority of the population, most representatives only know hospital birth. Now that our bill has gained new momentum, representatives are being more forthcoming about their hesitation to voteyes to license midwives; home birth seems to many state representatives like either an out-of-date practice or something weird. Yet we know that home birth families are normal, healthy families that deserve access to licensed midwives, making a reasonable choice!

No one can take your place! 

So please take the time to see if you have the same, or a new, state representative. First look up your zip+4 at and then visit the Illinois Legislator Lookup Page, (or visit and click on Legislator Lookup), click on the "By Zip+4" tab and enter your zip+4 (no dash). Your state representative is the third listing.

Next check to see if your state rep is was of the following cosponsors of last session's bill (SB 385) -- Julie Hamos - Arthur L. Turner - Mary E. Flowers - William B. Black, Jack McGuire, Shane Cultra, Mike Boland, Cynthia Soto, Paul D. Froehlich, Lou Lang, Karen A. Yarbrough, Luis Arroyo, Harry Osterman, Maria Antonia Berrios, Daniel J. Burke, Ron Stephens, Careen M Gordon and Joseph M. Lyons

Then, pick up the phone and try to set an appointment to meet with your rep! PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE. Every single meeting is vital. Nothing can show your state representative that his/her own constituents need licensed midwives like an in-person visit with you! Only you can help normalize home birth in their eyes. 

If your state rep was a sponsor or cosponsor last session, please meet them, shake their hand, and thank them for their support, and ask them to cosponsor again. Also, ask them to reach to their colleagues to explain to them how important this legislation is.

If your state rep did not cosponsor last session, please meet them, shake their hand, stress how important this bill is to your and your family, and ask them to cosponsor this time.

Also, plan to come to the capitol on Tuesday, February 10, 2009, for our Rally and Lobby Day! Please make time in your schedule for this all-important event. The only thing more impressive to a legislator than an in-district in-person meeting is seeing you travel to Springfield to meet with them.

And, last, but not least, keep in mind that the Med Society has nearly two dozen paid lobbyist in the capitol full-time, and this serves as a grim reminder that we, too, need money to operate

PLEASE DONATE TODAY We need your financial help to keep the Coalition for Illinois Midwifery's professional lobbyist representing us, to cover expenses to produce and distribute materials to legislators every week, and to pay back modest travel expenses for our unpaid volunteer lobbyists, who must be in Springfield each week as "subject matter experts" to support our professional lobbyist. This is no small undertaking, and it is only with the collective support of all of you that this can continue to move forward.

To donate on-line via PayPal, visit and click on the PayPal Donate button on the lower left. To send a check, please make it out to CFIM and mail to

Vicki Johnson - CFIM
6092 Torchlite Trl.
Loves Park, IL 61111

We know many of you have donated multiple times already, and we are very grateful. However, we need your support again. Please give what you can. Please give again next month. If you've never donated to support the Coalition before, now is the perfect time, as we mount a great effort to pass this legislation!

Don't let the Medical Society outlast us. Give today, and set that appointment with your state representative!

Rally Date confirmed: Tues. Feb. 10, 2009!

Let's get ready to rock the capitol on
Tuesday, February 10, 2009!!!

Please plan to come to Springfield and show our legislature how much we need midwives!

-- Please forward far and wide --

Now is the time to pull out all stops and show your support for home birth in the good ol' USA! Please join us at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois for a very special day.

We have heard from a film maker that they might be interested in filming a large midwifery rally, and wanted to know what our turnout on Feb. 10 would be.

We understand that dates have been bounced around causing last minutes changes over the past few months, but this time, THIS IS IT. We are at the beginning, rather than the end of the session. There is no looming impeachment, and we are confirmed for our date of Tuesday, February 10, 2009, 11 am.

If we can get 100 adults to commit to attending the Mother of All Rallies in the next day -- by 10 am, Wed., Feb 3, 2009 -- perhaps we can take part in this film project!

This year six states are poised to pass legislation, including us. We have the opportunity to be part of a huge surge, and if we hold a big rally in the home state of the American Medical Association, we could make a huge impact not only for our bill, but possibly the entire country.

But we can't do it without you, so please make every effort to attend. You can rsvp by emailing us directly (see emails below) or joining the facebook event at

Colette -- (birthnews at earthlink dot net) or
Pat -- (colefam at gmail dot com)

Please immediately invite everyone you know who is supportive of home birth. Now is the time to show legislators how much we need midwives!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Illinois State Capitol
S 2nd St & E Monroe St
Springfield, IL 62701
11 am - Stratton Building Cafeteria

Plan for the day
11 am - noon Orientation in the Stratton Building Cafeteria.

After orientation - lobby your state representative, state senator, and leave a letter for our new Governor! (We will provide you with materials and instructions)

Fill out your feedback form, and hand it in to our information table off the Rotunda (we will be there until 2:30 pm.)

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Optional debriefing at Gallina Pizza, 432 E Monroe St, Springfield, IL‎ - (217) 522-5271‎, approx. 3:30 pm (time may vary).

Tips for attending a Lobby Day
Yes, by all means, bring your children! Bring quiet toys and activities to amuse your children, and snacks and drinks. Nursing is your legally protected right in Illinois thanks to our General Assembly, so you should encounter no problems with that! :-)

EVERYONE LOVES TREATS -- We recommend you express your feelings with baked goods! Show your love for mothers&midwives, Bring m&m cookies or other baked good (3 wrapped paper plates of cookies -- one each for your rep, your senator and our new governor). If you cannot bring cookies for some reason, please bring a few packs of m&ms Do you really love to bake? Then please helps us by bringing a few extra plates in case there is a district with no constituents. [If you live in the Champaign area, please be aware Sen. Frerichs prefers healthy snacks to candy or cookies.]

You can find the Stratton Building Cafeteria by entering the capitol and asking at the Information Desk, or entering the office building due West of the Capitol.

If driving, bring lots quarters, because the free parking lot usually fills up by 8:15 am. You will most likely end up parking at a metered spot in the streets and have to put several quarters into a meter. Be prepared to walk a few blocks from your parking spot.

Prefer not to drive? You can make it a one day round trip on Amtrack from Chicago, Joliet, Bloomington (and other stops along the way). The Springfield Amtrack Station is only three blocks from the capitol.

When you finish your lobbying, you might enjoy taking a FREE architectural tour of the capitol building. See the million dollar renovations of our gorgeous capitol building.

Watch the Illinois House and/or Senate Floor in the Visitors Galleries.

Especially if you have an extra day, Springfield has many area museums and learning opportunities (most close at 5pm):
• The new Lincoln Presidential Museum
• The Illinois State Museum, a free state natural history museum part of the capitol complex, South of the capitol
• The Springfield Children's Museum, a sweet little museum for young children; 619 E Washington St, Springfield, IL‎ - (217) 789-0679‎
Lincoln's Home (with tours an opportnity to earn a Jr. Rangers badge)
• Lincoln's Tomb (a little outside of town at Oak Ridge Cemetery; automobile needed; call ahead to ask for hours 217-782-1717)

First aid -- Need a band aid, aspirin or cough drop? Visit first aid in both the Stratton Building and the Capitol (ask a guard or at the Information Desk for directions).

Most of all, bring your desire to see midwives licensed!

Hope to see you there,

Saturday, January 10, 2009


The good news is, we made huge progress on our bill, coming to terms with another one of the bill's opponents, and had a great lobby day with a home birth nurse-midwife and a non-practicing British-trained midwife who now lives in Illinois reaching out to several legislators that needed to hear more about midwives and home birth.

The kind of bad new is, we ran out of time to pass it in this session.

So the Mother of all Rallies will be rescheduled in early February. Check back for an exact date sometime next week!

Thanks for your patience and understanding!