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about their hesitation to voteyes to license midwives; home birth seems to many state representatives like either an out-of-date practice or something weird.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 usps.com and then visit the Illinois Legislator Lookup Page, (or visit ilga.gov 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!

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