2020 Legislative Advocacy - Nurse Midwife Bill
In 2020 the California legislature and Senator Dodd introduced SB 1237 Nurse-Midwives: scope of practice. It intends to remove physician supervision of nurse-midwives. CALM unequivocally supports removal of physician supervision for nurse-midwives.
However, SB 1237 goes too far with onerous restrictions on care especially for patients choosing community birth. As of June 16, 2020 CALMs position has been “Oppose, unless amended” to include specific language to protect patient bodily autonomy and the individual right to choose care provider and place of birth without putting the care provider at risk of illegal practice. Linked here is a joint statement by CALM and partner organizations Californians for the Advancement of Midwifery and California Families for Access to Midwives, regarding concerns about SB 1237.
SB1237 Dodd - Full text and revisions available here
CALM works closely with midwives, consumers, and the state legislature towards legislation, statutes and regulations that ensure access to the safe, patient-centered care of licensed midwives.
Our current legislative and policy agenda includes:
Removing the paternalistic and outdated licensed midwives scope of practice restrictions in the Licensed Midwifery Practice Act (currently in statute) - many of which are not based in evidence and create significant barriers to access.
End the Medical Board’s regulatory oversight of licensed midwives (LMs), which creates an inherent conflict of interest that has led to a regulatory stalemate, putting VBAC clients at risk and preventing LMs from providing Comprehensive Perinatal Services to clients who qualify.
Transfer regulatory oversight for licensed midwives (LMs) to an independent, LM-majority Midwifery Board with the authority to develop an evidence-based scope of practice and practice guidelines that meet the needs of midwives and their clients.
Remove the regulatory barriers that prevent Licensed Midwives from providing Alternative Birth Center specialty clinic services to clients seeking birth center care.
Recent legislative victories:
- Passed legislation to protect peer review and establish the ability to form professional corporations
- Organized district visits to build the relationships with legislators midwives need to ensure the best possible legislation
- Tracked all California state legislation to monitor for bills and amendments that restrict practice
- Developed a proactive legislative strategy designed to increase access to licensed midwifery
- Continued fighting against VBAC restrictions
- Hands-on support and policy-level advocacy for midwives navigating Medi-Cal enrollment and reimbursement process
- Worked alongside Certified Nurse Midwives to avoid practice restrictions that could impact licensed midwives