Sunday, March 21, 2010

Great News!!


Dear Homebirth and Midwifery Supporters:

Great News!!! State Representative Beth Coulson, a long time opponent of the Homebirth Safety Act, has reviewed the latest changes in the bill (educational requirements added last year by the Illinois Society of Advance Practice Nurses) and has shifted her position. She now supports HB226.

Representative Coulson is known as a legislative expert on health care licensing. She was a lead sponsor on the Birth Center Bill. Her support for the Homebirth Safety Act may make a big difference in the outcome for this bill.

The bill remains in Rules for the moment but with this new level of support and with your help, we may be able to get a positive committee assignment. If we do, we could be as close as needing only one or two more votes to pass!

Here’s what you can do to help:

1) Find out who your legislator is. If you don’t know, go to Click on legislator lookup and use your address to find your state Representative. Find your rep and take note of their two phone numbers and their email address if they display one.

2) If your representative is on the list below, PLEASE CALL THEM in their Springfield office TODAY.
Ask them if they will support HB226 the Homebirth Safety Act if it should appear before them. If they say the bill is dead, let them know that we are yet hoping to have it assigned to one of the Healthcare committees and if (for argument’s sake) it DOES appear, how will they vote? (the truth is, nothing is ever absolutely impossible until the session is over)

3) If you’ve called before or if on your first call you manage to engage in discussion with your rep or their secretary, mention Rep Coulson’s change of heart. Mention the new CDC report that shows homebirth is increasing (you’ll find it attached to this alert). Mention also Amnesty International’s new campaign against maternal mortality specifically in the US where we fall behind 40 other countries, and that access to safe, nationally certified, REGULATED midwives is part of the key to reducing such shameful outcomes. Let your rep know Amnesty International has found that the excessive number of unnecessary cesareans in our country contributes to our maternal mortality rate. Certified Professional Midwives have only a 3% rate of c-section while the national rate is almost 33%. THE HEALTHCARE COST REDUCTION IN MATERNITY CARE WOULD BE PHENOMENAL AND OUR MOTHERS AND BABIES COULD BE HEALTHIER IF OUR STATE EMBRACED CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIVES.

4) Report back to us. Please either hit reply to this email if you’re on a email distribution list, or better yet, send mail to Jamie at letting us know what your rep said in the end. Hopefully you will be able to get him/her to give a clear yes or no on the bill. When you report back, we may give you information to call your rep back with or a few handouts to email to your rep along with your thank you for their time. Please help us with that follow up as it is usually very important.

5) Forward this email to everyone you know who may be interested in helping homebirth mothers, babies and midwives - especially those in the districts we are listing below. Follow up with your friends. See if they need help contacting their legislator. Also ask if they’ll allow us to add their email to our action alert list. If yes, please send their names, legislator names, and email addresses to Jamie at

6) Once again, please consider donating. If we DO get our bill out of committee this year, we will desperately need our lobbyist. Right now we are working without him in order to continue working off last year’s fees. BUT WE MAY NEED HIM NEXT MONTH. Please donate. Give $5 if that’s all you can do. Please give more if you can. Plan to donate $5 next month and every month thereafter until the Homebirth Safety Act is through.

Please visit and click on paypal or mail a check made out to CFIM (or Coalition for Illinois Midwifery) to:
CFIM c/o Vicki Johnson
6092 Torchlite Trail
Loves, Park, IL 61111

Or if you are a midwife, doula, massage therapist or other provider, please consider donating a small portion of each client fee. Check out Community Counts – Better Birth Initiative at


HERE IS THE LIST OF REPRESENTATIVES WHO NEED THE ATTENTION MENTIONED IN THIS EMAIL. If your rep is not one this list, sit tight! If we get out of committee, there will be a lot you can do next week.

• Representative William Davis(D) (Riverdale, Dolton, Harvey, East Hazel Crest, Homewood, Robbins and Posen)

• Representative Robert Rita(D) (Calumet Park, Blue Island, Crestwood, Midlothian, and Oak Forest)

• Representative Jehan A. Gordon(D) (Peoria Area, Peoria Heights, West Peoria, Bartonville, Edwards, Norwood, Kickapoo, and Bellevue)

• Representative Elizabeth Hernandez(D) (Berwyn, Cicero)

• Representative David R. Leitch(R) (Peoria Area of Indiantown, Evans, Greene, Kickapoo, Trivoti, and Millbrook)

• Representative Randy Ramey,Jr.(R) (Bartlett, Carol Stream, and Hanover Park)

• Representative Angelo Saviano(R) (Bensenville, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, North Lake, River Grove, Rosemont, and Schiller Park)

• Representative William Burns(D) (Bronzeville/Grand,Hyde Park,Kenwood,South Shore,Woodlawn, and the Loop)

• Representative Lisa Dugan (Kankakee, Monee, Peotone, Manteno, Pembroke, Beaver)

• Representative William Burns (Bronzeville/Grand, Hyde Park, Kenwood, South Shore, Woodlawn, Loop)

• Representative Greg Harris (Uptown, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, North Center, Andersonville, Bowmanville)

• Representative Karen May (Bannockburn, Deerfield, Glencoe, Highland Park, Highwood, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Riverwoods)

• Esther Golar (Englewood, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, New City, Canaryville, Fuller Park)

• FOR Representatives Mary Flowers, Elizabeth Coulson, Ron Stephens and Matthew Boland – SEE BELOW

If your representative is Mary Flowers, please call her to thank her for her years of unwavering support of midwives. Let her know you hope to see the bill in committee this year and hope you can count upon her continued support.

If your rep is Elizabeth Coulson, please call her to thank her for her new support for the Homebirth Safety Act.

If your representative is Matt Boland or Ron Stephens, call to thank them for their prior sponsorship. Let them know you hope to see the bill in committee this year and you hope you can count upon their continued support.

If you’ve read this far THANK YOU!!! Thank you ALL for caring about this cause. Believe that whatever you are doing, even if you’ve done it before, really matters – and you are making a difference for someone in the future who wants to have her babies safely at home.

Thank you and please keep your ears out for our next action alert.

Best wishes,

Rachel Dolan Wickersham
The Coalition for Illinois Midwifery

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