As we reported previously, in Missouri an amendment included in a big insurance bill that was passed last year would give CPMs legal, unregulated status in Missouri, but was challenged by the Medical Association. When the first court upheld the ruling, midwives and midwifery advocates appealed to the state supreme court. Now, finally, the supreme court has ruled: they essentially threw the case out on the basis that the Medical Association did not have any standing in the case! The Medical Association has 10 days to petition for a re-hearing, so there could still be a reversal, but this is unlikely.
The meaning: Once the 10 days are up (on July 4, Independence Day!), if a re-hearing is not granted, CPMs will be free to practice legally in Missouri!!
Here is a brief news account and another.
You can read the opinion and summary here.
Here is a press release from Friends of Missouri Midwives.
The appeal involved attorneys that cost money. If you are excited about this amazing victory, consider a donation to help with the remaining $33,000 still owed. You can go to Free the Midwives to make a donation -- every little bit counts!
As you are likely aware, midwifery advocates in Missouri have fought very long and hard to achieve legal status. They were extremely close to passing licensing legislation this spring, only to fall victim to hardball tactics by the medical lobbyists in the final hours of the legislative session.
Legal, unregulated status will allow midwives to practice openly and thus increase the pool of midwives and home birth advocates, a very positive development for midwives and mothers in Missouri!
Kudos to all in Missouri, who worked very hard, pushed through discouraging times, and never gave up!
Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”