DEAR HOME BIRTH AND MIDWIFERY SUPPORTERS
Last week we asked you to send a letter. Now it's time to follow up with a call. Can you help us by calling your state Rep? We are continuing to work to get a full House role call (head count to see if we have enough votes) for the Home Birth Safety Act, HB 226.
Our momentum is building! If we get just 30 more votes on the floor and 1 more in committee, we will have what it takes for us to get the bill through the House this year. There are 75 reps who not yet been counted, so there are many opportunities to get the votes we need. BUT WE CAN'T DO IT ALONE. WE NEED YOUR HELP!!
Here's what you can do:
Forward this email to everyone you know. We need to reach as many people as possible or we won't get a full roll call.
Then, if you haven't done it already, look up your legislator. Go to www.ilga.gov, click on Legislator Lookup and then put in your address to find your state Rep's information.
Next, call your Rep's local office and ask him/her to co-sponsor HB226, the Homebirth Safety Act. Please do this even if you've called / asked before. Let them know that Rep Beth Coulson, a long time opponent, has changed her mind and supports the bill. She changed her mind after reviewing the new educational requirements inserted by the Advance Practice Nurses.
If they says no, ask if they will please vote yes for it. Say that the midwives are trying to get a roll call.
If they says no to that too, ask for an appointment to come hear about their concerns and to possibly bring someone from the midwives to try to address some of their concerns.
If you do not reach anyone, please keep trying.
If you hear "that bill is dead" please point out that there were 3 new co-sponsors added last week and say that the midwives are confident they can get a committee assignment if they can get a good floor count, so could s/he please co-sponsor or vote yes?
If they want any details about the issue over the phone, the following are some good details.
There are not enough legal providers to serve the approximately 800 - 1000 babies born at home in Illinois every year. Unlicense midwives fill in the gaps in the underserved areas - "delivering" babies for many families, But without regulation there is no assurance that a particular midwife is skilled. There is no smooth mechanism for transport and transfer of care if the woman needs to go to the hospital for a C-section. There is no easy way to get a birth certificate that is filled out properly. And there is no easy way to do the baby's blood test that screens for metabolic or genetically inherited disorders (such as cystic fibrosis). Failing to screen and treat certain disorders early on, can be devastating for baby’s health.The Homebirth Safety Act, HB226 can remedy these issues in a way that our current system does not.
Please contact us to let us know of any response you get from your rep. If you get a meeting, we'll try to send someone with you or coach you ahead of time. Let us know by sending email to Jamie at Charis490@gmail.com
Home Birth mothers and babies in Illinois are counting upon you to make this phone call.
Remember your Reps work for YOU. THANK YOU!
Rachel Dolan Wickersham, CD(DONA), LCCE
president, Coalition for Illinois Midwifery
vice president, Illinois Council of Certified Professional Midwives