Legislative Alert: American Association of Birth Centers Announcement

I am just a messenger.  This is extremely important and requires quick action.  I know it’s a crazy busy time of year, but please do take a moment to make these calls.  Midwifery is good for women and babies!  Support a woman’s access to ethical and mother/baby-friendly care.

American Association of Birth Centers
Legislative Alert

URGENT – Make Calls before December 22nd!

We are making progress with education of the House and Senate about the need to add the birth center facility to Medicaid covered services! But, many Representatives and Senators have not yet had a call from you or your clients. We must have sponsors from both parties! We are also targeting key people who will vote YES or NO whether our bill will get out of committee and to the floor — once we have introduced the bill.

For background information click here.

Please make calls to congressional health staffers this week before the holiday recess!

1. Click here to get the names and phone numbers of the Washington D.C. offices of your two Senators and your Representative.

2. Ask the name of the healthcare staffer and ask to speak to them.
3. Write down their name and phone number.

4. Tell them you own/direct/work at/are a consumer of/care about the services of a birth center.

5. Tell them that a bill will be introduced soon to add birth centers to Medicaid. [NOTE: the bill does not yet have a bill number.]

6. Ask for their support and sponsorship of our bill to add birth centers to Medicaid. That’s all you need to say–we’ll do the rest.

7. Then call or email AABC’s lobbyist Karen Fennell (301-830-3910, karenfennell50 @ yahoo.com or me (423-253-4455, jkalliman @ yahoo.com to tell us what they said. We will follow up.

NOTE: We do not have a bill number because it is not yet introduced, but we want to introduce the bill in January and need sponsors now. We can send them the draft bill language if they are interested in sponsoring the bill.

justinandelise (flickr)

image attribution: justinandelise (flickr)

This is urgent if we want to sustain birth centers in the United States. Please call today.

Please pass this on to your Friends of the Birth Center groups and ask them to call too.


Jill Alliman, CNM, MSN
Legislative Chair
American Association of Birth Centers


One of those frustrating days

This is one of those days that I shouldn’t have gotten out of bed and need to crawl back into bed.  Luckily my students are sick, so I am off the hook, so to speak.  I don’t feel well myself – in addition to pregnancy fatigue I must be fighting some version of the flu that is going around.  I’ve had chills, a migraine, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

Gretchen of Birth Matters posted an important notice  from the American Association of Birth Centers.  The short of the long of it is that the AABC will not be conducting a follow-up study on VBAC in birth centers.  Most AABC accredited birth centers do not allow VBACs.  VBACs are evidently not considered to be “high risk” or “low risk”.  Rather, we’re an insignificant subset who is someone else’s problem.  Instead of conducting a study to correct the faulty conclusions of the previous study (Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2004), they are focusing on maintaining a credible visage for normal birth.  (CYA much?) 

My sister-in-law has been diagnosed with carrying the “fragile x” gene.  As far as I know, the genetic testing took place without informed consent.  I resent that my SIL has to spend her entire pregnancy worrying about her future child’s mental and physical well-being.  She is only 9 weeks pregnant, so this is a big burden to bear for such a long time.  Let’s get back to the “rub”.  She did not request genetic testing and was not told that genetic testing was part of the OB’s standard blood work-up.  She and my BIL are the picture of health, so there would have been no obvious need for genetic testing.  This is a huge problem in a number of ways, and this OB should be hunted down and burned at the stake for what she has done.