Oppose SB 1237

ACTION ALERT: Oppose SB 1237


The right to choose our birth settings and birth providers is under threat in California. Senate Bill 1237 makes it illegal, under vaguely-defined circumstances with no basis in evidence, for nurse-midwives to provide care to individuals planning to give birth in out-of-hospital settings.

If you live in any of the state Senate districts below, please call your Senator’s office TODAY to register your opposition to SB 1237.

Tell the staff person who answers the phone that you are a constituent who lives in their district and you are asking your Senator to please vote NO on SB 1237.

Now, more than ever—when birthing families must make difficult, highly personal decisions and weigh the risks, benefits, and alternatives to hospital-based care—we need more access to midwifery care in all settings, not less.

Please call today and pass this message along to anyone you know who lives in these Senate districts.

Anthony J. Portantino – District 25


Phone: (916) 651-4025


State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate 25

Pat Bates – District 36


Phone: (916) 651-4036


State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate 36

Steven Bradford - District 35


Phone: (916) 651-4035


State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate 35

Jerry Hill - District 13


Phone: (916) 651-4013


State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate 13

Brian Jones - District 38


Phone: (916) 651-4038


State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate 13

Bob Wieckowski - District 10


Phone: (916) 651-4010


State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate 10

Bill Dodd (SB 1237 Author) - District 3


Phone: (916) 651-4003


State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate 3

The author of the bill, Senator Bill Dodd, and his six colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee, have the power to decide whether a bill that discriminates against people who choose out-of-hospital birth will move forward to the Senate floor for a full vote.

These Senators need to know that their constituents back home think that singling out midwifery care for legislative micro-management limiting access to care does not serve the interests of birthing women or their babies.

To those of you who don’t live in these districts, stay tuned for information about other actions you can take in support of maternal autonomy and the birthing rights of California’s citizens.

While CALM fully supports removing physician supervision from California’s nurse-midwife statute, we do not believe that the rights of birthing families should be the price exchanged for autonomous practice.

Since 2013, when California licensed midwives were saddled with the very same language in their law that is now being proposed for California nurse-midwives, our members have seen first-hand on a regular basis the damaging effects on patient care that arbitrary and non-evidence based barriers to access create.

Because health care practice is rightfully governed by the evidence and not by politics, it is our firm position that practice guidelines for all health care providers should be promulgated via rules that reflect the highest quality peer-reviewed research and best practices.

In addition to creating barriers to access that have already been proven to put women and their babies at increased risk, SB 1237 fails to achieve its intended goal, independent practice for nurse-midwives.

A few of SB 1237’s more problematic provisions include:

Establishing undefined “generally accepted practices,” risk factors, and health conditions as the basis for mandatory termination of a nurse-midwife’s care of a patient

Permitting nurse-midwife co-management of patients with undefined, outside of “normal,” conditions or risk-factors only under a “mutually-agreed upon” practice agreement with a physician

Requiring nurse-midwives to co-manage patient care with physicians under certain circumstances while making such co-management entirely voluntary on the part of the physician.

Giving rule-making authority on nurse-midwife practice to an advisory committee with 40% physician membership and allowing the committee to act in the absence of nurse-midwife representation

Violating the right to informed decision-making of people who choose out-of-hospital maternity care by mandating automatic transfer to a physician for undefined risk factors and health conditions

Establishing arbitrary denial-of-care guidelines with no basis in the evidence for people seeking out-of-hospital care with a nurse-midwife

Read SB 1237 here