Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Crunch Time--News from the MAMA Campaign


Congress is ready to move on health care reform. But will they make
Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) part of that reform? We still hope
so, and we know you do, too. You have been working hard with us for months on this campaign to give CPMs federal recognition. You’ve written your letters and you’ve told your friends. You’ve helped us along the way. But now we need a little more.

-At Long Last, the Senate Has a Bill-
Last Wednesday, the powerful Senator Max Baucus of Montana introduced his long-awaited America’s Healthy Future Act. This bill will be the crux of the health care reform debate for the next few weeks. Read a summary of Baucus’s bill on his website.

The bill is large and complicated, with provisions that will affect
insurance companies, Medicare, and even Native American tribes.

But it is silent on the important issue of Medicaid patients’ access to

We have been pounding the pavement in Washington, D.C., letting legislators know in person about the health benefits and cost savings that CPMs can provide. The legislators are interested. Because of our persistent outreach, all of the key offices are aware of Certified Professional Midwives and that CPMs can be part of the health care reform solution. They are sympathetic to our cause. But they need to hear from you, their constituents, in order for that sympathy to be translated into legislative action. To legislators hearing form constituents is the most important thing!

-Use Your Voice!-
We’ve asked you to contact your legislators, and you’ve delivered! Already, thanks to your letters, dozens of legislators have expressed support for our amendment, several in writing, and including several members of the committee that are writing the health care bills.

But we need more. Congress only pays attention if you tell them over and over. Please write your legislator today and ask them to support the inclusion of CPMs in Medicaid! Did you already write a letter? Write again! Go to for instructions on writing and sending your legislators a letter. THANK YOU to all of you who have already written.

-The Today Show Insults Midwives-
Last week the Today show ran a startling piece of yellow journalism titled,
"[1]The Perils of Homebirth". We did not like it, and if you saw it, we bet
you did not like it either: it quoted the American College of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists (ACOG) as comparing home birth to a “spa treatment.” But despite its obvious bias, the piece did drive home some important facts:

1. Home birth is on the rise in the U.S. and our efforts are gaining the
attention of the mainstream. The insulting attacks on home birth by ACOG in the piece are a sure sign that they feel threatened by the growing preference in the U.S. for midwives, home birth, and choices in maternity care. They try to make us afraid, but we know the truth: the latest published study on home birth reveals it to be [2]safer than hospital birth for low risk women, even in cases of vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)!

2. Mothers and Midwives do not take kindly to cheap shots. Viewer comments flooded the Today Show and were overwhelmingly [3]pro-midwife. We feel confident that the producers of the show now know that we will not be cowed by scare tactics and sensational stories.

We know that YOU are going to help us STAND AND DELIVER the kind of choices that you, your children, and their children deserve in maternity care.

-MAMA Is Blogging Health Care Reform.-
You can follow the health care reform debate with MAMA! Read the latest post on our blog, The Grapevine.

Donate Your Resources! Visit

This is a historic moment for midwives! The MAMA Campaign was launched in May, just four short months ago, and we have already garnered the attention of top Congressional leaders and federal agencies. MAMA has been busy! Of particular significance are the many less obvious but equally important gains made by the MAMA Campaign. In support of our common goal, our six partner organizations entered into a formal relationship for the first time! While our short-term goal of federal recognition is clear and focused, the long-range impact of bringing national attention to CPMs and their potential contributions to health policy is immeasurable in its importance.

To date, MAMA has received nearly $100,000 in individual contributions and organizational support! Now, we need at least an additional $50,000 in order to maintain our presence in Washington, DC through this Congressional debate over healthcare reform. We have come so far, and we can’t stop now.

Please consider making a contribution today to help carry us over the
top! Invest in the future of midwifery in the United States!

Please donate at

With hope for a future that holds a Midwife for every Mother!
-The MAMA Campaign

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