by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
My latest newsletter looks at the Home Birth Freedom Act before the General Assembly, which would legalize midwifery in North Carolina (yes) and establish a state licensing board for midwives (no). I show how the bill could be tweaked to removed the licensure aspects while still expanding home birth freedom here.
Here is the key: the bill’s requirements for licensure would include the applicant having obtained certification from the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and be titled a certified professional midwife. It would also have the applicant obtain certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and neonatal resuscitation. Such certification does not need a state licensure board to validate it.
Furthermore, the responsibilities listed in the bill for a licensed midwife — e.g., providing care, providing informed consent forms, ordering routing antepartal or postpartal screening or laboratory analysis when necessary, on down to maintaining a birth certificate for each birth in accordance with state requirements — could just as easily be the legal responsibilities expected of certified professional midwives without state licensure.
So retain the NARM, CPR, and neonatal resuscitation certification, as well as the responsibilities for certified professional midwives. Then strike the rest of the bill that deals with licensure matters …
Nota bene: for Julie Gilstrap‘s sake especially, I didn’t make a don’t-throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater joke.