Subscribe below by entering your e-mail address.
We'll send you news, updates, and action alerts. Of course, we'll never share your e-mail and we only send messages when we've got news to share!
California Families for Access to Midwives is one year old!
We are so excited to have just celebrated our one-year anniversary! In the last year, we became a 501(c)(4) organization, started a Facebook page, created a website, and designed a logo. We began to connect with homebirth families and midwives across the state. We participated in a homebirth rally in San Francisco and co-hosted one with the California Association of Midwives on the steps of the Capital in Sacramento.
Throughout the year, we met and spoke with so many families that CFAM strives to represent and used your real-life testimonials to call attention to our important work. You posted on Facebook, phoned and e-mailed your state legislators – including Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, author and sponsor of AB 1308 – and you celebrated with us when our bill was signed by the Governor.
Starting with an idea, we grew from that dining room table into an organization with over 3,500 followers on Facebook and over 500 people on our email update list. We look back at the year and are in awe of the support you have given us. We did all of this with a few loyal volunteers, a Facebook team and dedicated consultants, including Jeanette McCulloch from Birthswell and Katie Prown from The Big Push for Midwives – all on a SHOE STRING budget. Together we made a difference for families and midwives in California.
Although we celebrated our achievements, we also had some disappointments and frustrations. Midwives are not currently able to attend mothers who would choose a homebirth even though their babies are breech or they are carrying twins. While our new law removed physician supervision, it now also limits homebirth in California in other ways.
WHAT IS CFAM DOING NOW?
We are continuing to support California families who choose midwifery care for their pregnancy, birth and early parenting.
Representatives of CFAM are regularly attending Midwifery Advisory Council (MAC) meetings and speaking on behalf of families. You can view the March 27, 2014 MAC meeting here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge3M8tQVZs
We also attended a meeting sponsored by the California Medical Board for interested parties to comment on current regulatory language in response to the signing of AB 1308 into law.
Our CFAM Vice-President, Treesa Mclean, attended the California Association of Midwives Board meeting and discussed ways that CFAM could support CAM. She brought up the need for CFAM volunteers and asked the midwives of CAM to help us make contact with the families in California that would like to take direct action.
WHAT IS NEXT FOR CFAM?
The ongoing work of CFAM is dependent on the support and dedication of donors and volunteers. Immediate tasks include:
• Reviewing current bills and considering whether to actively support them.
• Developing relationships with other organizations and meeting with other health and midwifery activists.
• Updating our website to make it easier for our supporters to stay updated.
• Moving to a membership-based organization in the next few months. Base membership will be free, but we will also be offering enhanced memberships.
• Attending the Blossom Birth and Family Fair on May 10th in Palo Alto, among other birth events held up and down the state.
• Continuing to research information about homebirth families being denied birth certificates when they apply for them and developing a strategy to change this discriminatory practice.
WE ARE GROWING, and we need your help!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Volunteer for us!
We need administrative support, online Facebook team and Twitter team volunteers.
Are you a Pinterest or Instagram expert? Come and help us out.
Are you the absolutely the best fundraiser? Please come on down!
Do you want to attend events and support CFAM? Can you come to Midwifery Advisory Council Meetings in Sacramento?
Let us know how you would like to help. We really need a volunteer coordinator, too.
We still need your financial support. If you have the resources, please consider donating to CFAM. We cannot do everything we want without your financial support. A contribution of $120 would cover our website hosting and basic email accounts for a year. In terms of Facebook “sponsored ads”, each ad costs between $5-10, and they can help us reach hundreds or thousands of people. A few hundred dollars would allow us to get a large, attractive reusable banner to use at events. Larger contributions (or an ongoing pledge of support) would provide CFAM with the financial stability to commit to working on advocacy on current legislation. We have a volunteer who will design postcards for us to give to midwives (they keep asking for them) and a small donation would allow us to get them printed.
Lastly, the California Families for Access to Midwives Board – Adeola, Treesa, Jennifer and Tanya – want to say thank you to the families and midwives of California. We have had the great honor to have worked together with you this year. Each of us feels that this experience has been transformative in our lives, to see such power, such enthusiasm, and passion. We feel lucky to have been a part of this process. Thank you!
It’s NOT a done deal. Call the Governor TODAY!
We hope everyone took the time to savor last week’s victories for AB1308 because we need you to get right back on your phones today and send a simple but strong message to Governor Brown:
Please sign AB1308 into law.
Without your voices speaking up loud and clear, the special interests in Sacramento that oppose midwives and out-of-hospital birth have a clear path to lobby against the bill and send it to a quiet last-minute death.
We can’t afford to let up now that the final victory is within reach.
Please call, e-mail, or FAX the Governor today and ask him to sign AB1308!
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Another reason why we can’t afford to let up now? Because yet another junk science study about the dangers of out-of-hospital birth is about to be released and the authors of the study are shopping their fear-mongering, sensationalized conclusions to news outlets all over the country.
By the end of this week, scary stories about how home birth kills babies will be hitting inboxes all over the Capitol. We need to counter Big Medicine’s anti-midwife propaganda by letting the Governor know that we are standing up for our birth rights. So please call today!
Thank you for all of your efforts—the huge groundswell of grassroots support for AB1308 was the talk of the Capitol last week. Let’s keep it rolling and bring it home STRONG.
Dear Midwifery Supporter, YOU made history in California today!
Thanks to YOUR efforts, AB1308 passed both houses unanimously yesterday. The midwifery bill - which represents the most significant changes to midwifery law in 20 years - is on the way to Governor Brown!*
(*Stay tuned in coming days for more on making sure our victory doesn’t slip away.)
This bill represents a victory for women and their families by:
Removing physician supervision. This keeps midwifery legal in California and recognizes midwives as autonomous providers.
Clears the way for Medi-Cal coverage. The passage of this bill is a critical first step to making Medi-Cal coverage possible for home births.
Increases access to midwifery care at Birth Centers.
Increases home birth safety by allowing midwives increased access to drugs, tests, and medical devices.
This is all thanks to YOU and YOUR hard work. We are celebrating you right now!
Grassroots legislative change only happens when legislators hear from consumers like you. And how did you find out about the midwifery bill and our work at California Families for Access to Midwifery? Probably on Facebook, or through an e-mail we drafted for your midwife to send. This past week alone, more than 32,000 people saw information about AB1308 online, which led to much-needed phone calls and e-mails to target legislators.Our online work - which was critical to mobilizing large call volumes at the most strategic moments of the session - was guided by consultants who know the ins-and-outs of making midwifery legislation happen at the statehouse. Your previous gifts have made that work possible - thank you!
If you can, please consider making a donation of $20 - $50 or $100 today in honor of this victory.
Your gift of any amount will help us maintain the social media presence that made this win possible - which is critical if we hope to keep growing and making change on behalf of women, babies, and families in California. It will also help cover travel expenses as we enter the next phase of our work - ensuring that the new regulations are written to best serve the interests of you, women and families that access midwives.
A huge thank you to California Association of Midwives for countless hours worked on this bill, especially Constance Rock and Sarah Davis. And none of this would be possible without Assemblywoman Bonilla, who has championed midwifery in CA.
We know this bill isn't perfect. But it represents a huge victory for the women of California and their families. Soon, we'll reach out to talk to you about next steps - like contacting Governor Brown and all that needs to be done at the regulatory level.
But today, we want say THANK YOU. Dedicated people like YOU made this possible. We are honored to continue working with you to ensure that our maternity care system is responsive to our needs and respectful of our choices. You are CFAM!
BIG VICTORY - AND ONE MORE BIG PUSH TO GO!
Tonight we are celebrating a HUGE victory - AB1308 just received a unanimous vote in favor on the Senate floor.
This is a MAJOR victory that would not be possible without you.
Now, with possibly less than 24 hours left in the legislative session, the bill needs to clear the Assembly and make its way to the Governor's desk.
This means we can't quite start to celebrate yet! We need your calls - urgently - to your State Assemblyperson.
Find your State Assemblyperson here and call or e-mail - even if you've called or e-mailed already.
I support AB1308 because it removes physician supervision, and families cannot afford to wait another year for increased access to midwifery care. Please help this bill get to the governor’s desk this year!
One you've called or e-mailed, let us know here on Facebook. We'll feel better knowing you've called, plus you'll be entered to win a bumper sticker! We'll give away 1 bumper sticker for every 10 calls.
YOU have gotten this bill this far.
YOU can carry it the rest of the way!
Call now - and watch our Facebook page for live updates tonight and tomorrow!
With much gratitude,
IMPORTANT UPDATE - ONLY 6 DAYS LEFT TO PUSH OUR BILL THROUGH!
Assemblywoman Bonilla is negotiating a deal that will keep AB1308 alive, and she’s gotten ACOG to back down on their liability limitations.
Lots of special-interest groups could easily swoop in at the last minute and kill our bill. We need a huge push from consumers to make sure this bill doesn’t fall victim to any last-minute attacks.
This is it. The final countdown. The next six business days will determine whether our state will legally recognize licensed midwives as autonomous providers for the first time in California history.
Here’s what’s happening:
Assemblywoman Bonilla and her staff have worked with ACOG, the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee and CAM to remove the language concerning liability from the proposed new amendments. There’s one more detail to work out with the Department of Consumer Affairs. Once that is done, we expect AB 1308 to be heard on the floor of the Senate this week.
What do we need? We need you to call your Senator and your Assemblymember, because the bill will be voted on in both houses in the coming week if we can keep it alive. All voting MUST take place in the next 6 business days, so if AB1308 is going to make it, we need your voice right now!
Are you asking, but I have already called why should I again? Or my voice won’t matter much will it? Well the strides that have been made so far have been because consumers showed up! You have visited offices, emailed, and made phone calls, and this bill has gone from implementing physician supervision to removing it from law altogether. Please, please, please use your voice again! You made Bonilla’s office listen to CFAM and the California Association of Midwives, and you can make all the legislators hear that the families of California care about access to midwifery care and the removal of physician supervision!
What do I say?
I support AB1308 because it removes physician supervision, and families cannot afford to wait another year for increased access to midwifery care. Please help this bill get to the governor’s desk this year!
We need your calls TODAY.
Thank you for all you have done so far!
P.S. Please be sure to call TODAY - with only six business days left, every call, every email, and every moment counts!
Let’s get it done! After you call please let us know on Facebook, and we will give away bumper stickers to 5 randomly chosen people who comment on their calls to their legislators. You can enter twice if you call both your senator and your assemblymember. Thank you!!!
Dear midwifery supporter:
Your calls are needed NOW to make sure all of our gains aren’t lost. Here’s what’s happening:
Any OB you meet will tell you the impact lawsuits have on their practice. Actual lawsuits and fear of future lawsuits are arguably a root cause of the multiple interventions used in a typical hospital birth - doctors intervene so that juries won’t see them as failing to act should a bad outcome occur. This is important because, as a part of the agreement to remove physician supervision, the proposed legislation limits a physician’s liability when a laboring mother is transferred to a hospital during a home birth. It is important to note that this protection from liability applies only to OBs who provide care in good faith, NOT to OBs who refuse or delay care.
The limited liability made ACOG feel more comfortable with home birth transfers, and it is in all our best interest to reduce fear and hostility in home birth transfers as much as possible. However, the amendment to existing law is significant enough that the judiciary committee - which oversees bills that significantly change tort law - wants to review the bill. Early word suggests the committee is not comfortable with a change this big, and certainly not this year.
The good news: lobbyists for ACOG are working alongside CAM representatives to find a solution that will keep the bill alive, and Assemblywoman Bonilla is committed to getting the bill through this year. But they can’t do it alone. Your voices are what got the legislation this far, and you are the ones who will carry it over the finish line.
We need your calls now (and by now, we mean NOW!!!) so the senate judiciary committee hears loud and clear that we care about home birth in California and that we won’t let our historic legislative progress get mired down at the last minute.
How you can help:
Call today. If you live here:
Senator Noreen Evans (Chair) - representing Eureka, Fortuna, Ukiah, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Vallejo, San Rafael, Sonoma, Benicia
Senator Joel Anderson (Vice Chair) - representing San Diego, Bonita, Lakeland Village, Murrieta, Temecula, El Cajon, Alpine, Julian, Rancho San Diego
Senator Ellen M. Corbett - representing San Leandro, Hayward, Union City, Fremont, Newark, Pleasanton, Milpitas, Castro Valley and parts of San Jose
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson - representing Ballard, Carpinteria, Garey, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Lompoc, Mission Hills, Santa Barbara, Solvang, Camarillo, El Rio, Mira Monte, Oak View or Ojai
Senator Mark Leno - representing San Francisco, Broadmoor, Colma, Daly City and portions of South San Francisco.
Senator Bill Monning - representing Santa Cruz, Watsonville, Gilroy, San Luis Obispo, Morgan Hill, Seaside, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Monterey
Senator Andy Vidak - representing Santa Maria, Buellton, Solvang, Goleta, Santa Barbara, San Buenaventura, the Santa Clara Valley (Santa Paula, Fillmore, Piru) and Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Camarillo
Call with this message: I support AB1308 because it removes physician supervision, and families cannot afford to wait another year. Please help this bill move out of the senate.
Let us know you’ve called by leaving a comment on Facebook here.
*Bonus*: you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a free #freeourmidwives t-shirt!
And if you don’t live in those districts, help us find the people who do! Share our Facebook post and we will enter you into the drawing, too!
If you are a midwife, birth professional, or birth activist, please forward this message to your e-mail list and share it on your Facebook page.
We’ll keep you up to date on the progress. Until then, please keep the calls coming by helping us spread the word.
As always, thanks for all that you are doing on behalf of families in California.
All the best,
P.S. Please be sure to call TODAY - we've only got a few weeks left to get this bill over the finish line!
Dear CFAM Community,
I am writing to update you on the status of our efforts to remove physician supervision of licensed midwives from California law, and to urge you to actively support AB1308, which, despite its limitations, represents a historic victory for families that want and deserve access to midwifery care.
Earlier this year, CFAM launched a statewide, grassroots effort to make one critical change to California law: remove the unobtainable and discriminatory provision that requires licensed midwives to work under the supervision of a physician.
As you are likely aware, physicians are unable to supervise midwives due to restrictions placed on them by their malpractice insurance carriers. Thus, virtually all licensed midwives in the state of California are practicing illegally, and are in constant and unrelenting danger of prosecution for breaking the law. They are also prohibited from serving Medi-Cal families because Medi-Cal does not recognize them as independent providers.
Your Efforts Made A Difference: Physician Supervision Removed
However, after several months of advocacy, activism, and rallying, your voices have made a difference, and AB1308 has gone from restating and mandating implementation of physician supervision, to removing it from law altogether. This is no small feat.
Stay Tuned: We're Watching For Last Minute Shenanigans
Assemblywoman Bonilla’s office confirmed on Friday that AB1308 will be amended on the Senate floor this week, and removal of physician supervision is one of the amendments. CFAM is taking a strong position in support of this bill, and Assemblywoman is well aware that our support is contingent on this key amendment. We will be watching the bill closely to ensure that there are no unanticipated last-minute changes, and we need you to be ready to pull your support if there are any shenanigans. It’s critical, however, that we all begin contacting legislators right away and letting them know that we support AB1308 with Assemblywoman Bonilla’s proposed amendments.
AB1308 Wins: Increased Access Through Birth Centers and Medi-Cal
The fundamental benefits of passing AB1308 are that it will make licensed midwives legal in California for the first time in two decades, and will authorize state licensure for freestanding birth centers run by licensed midwives.
This means that our midwives will be able to continue providing care for families without fear of losing their licensure and/or being prosecuted, and Medi-Cal will have no choice but to cover out-of-hospital maternity care (both at home and in freestanding birth centers) for the 48% of California moms whose income qualifies them for Medi-Cal.
That is a huge win given the tremendous benefits of midwifery care, and the importance of making this care available to all families regardless of income level.
New Limits On Home Birth Require Our Undivided Attention
Make no mistake, however; this bill is far from perfect.ACOG has taken full advantage of the fact that the physician supervision requirement leaves midwives vulnerable, and that we need to get a bill passed this year much more than they do. They know that the midwife-friendly director of the medical board was fired earlier this year. They know that separate legislation is working its way through the legislature that will shift enforcement of physician supervision to either the Department of Justice or the Division of Investigation.
And their well-funded lobbyists have successfully negotiated for a new provision that narrows midwives’ scope of practice to “normal pregnancy and normal birth,” which they define as:
Absence of any preexisting maternal disease or condition that is likely to affect the pregnancy
Absence of significant disease arising from the pregnancy· Singleton fetus
Cephalic presentation· Gestational age between 37 and 42 weeks
Labor is spontaneous or induced in an outpatient setting
Notably, this definition of normal pregnancy and birth excludes mothers carrying more than one baby and mothers whose babies are in a breech position at birth. This is not something we take lightly. Also, for women with “preexisting maternal disease[s] or condition[s],” and women who experience “significant disease” during pregnancy, midwives will be required to refer them to an obstetrician for a determination that their condition is not likely to affect their current pregnancy.
This provision is likely to impact moms having a vaginal birth after a prior cesarean, but we were successful in including language that leaves this door open. The bill will direct the medical board to craft regulations defining what constitutes a “preexisting maternal disease that is likely to affect the pregnancy,” and that will be the next battleground for preserving access to midwife-supported VBACs.
Our Work Is Not Done Until We Secure A Woman's Right To Make Her Own Health Care Decisions
Ultimately, however, we cannot create a maternity care system that is responsive to and respectful of the needs of mothers and babies, without addressing the fundamental problem: California has yet to recognize that pregnant women have the same rights as everyone else to make their own decisions regarding their health care.
All of us at CFAM believe that a woman’s human right to self-determination in making health care decisions is basic and self-evident, and is not mitigated by “risk” factors. No one—not the government, not our doctors, not even our midwives—has the right to force us into a particular course of action, or to prevent us from accessing the maternity care that we decide is best for ourselves and our babies.
We hope that you will join us as we continue to move forward with this movement of mothers and families. From where we stand, passing AB1308 is a big step forward. By removing the threat of physician supervision, we can focus the next leg of this journey on the underlying issue: human rights in pregnancy and childbirth.
Here is what you can do now
to support this effort:
Contact your state senator and assemblymember, and urge them to support AB1308 with Bonilla’s amendments only. Ask your family and friends to do the same
While you’re at it, tell them how you feel about women’s human rights in childbirth, and let them know it’s an issue that needs to be addressed urgently
Help us build our numbers. Spread the word while earning a chance to win some #freeourmidwives swag. Learn more here.
Visit our website and make a donation to CFAM so we don’t have to drag our unpaid bills from this campaign into the next one.
As you can see, our work is not done. We’re counting on you to move this movement forward because we now know—from experience—that our voices really do make a difference.
All the best,
Home birth permission slips in California?!?!?!
Call today to ensure home birth.
First the good news. AB1308, a bill to modernize California’s outdated midwifery law, is being amended as we speak to remove the requirement that California’s licensed midwives must work under physician supervision. Removal of this outdated provision gives midwives the legal protection they need to continue serving families, and opens the door for Medi-Cal reimbursement for out-of-hospital maternity care.
We raised our voices and our elected officials got the message—good work everyone!
Now the bad news. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is trying to add a new requirement to state law, one that would require physician approval for women they don’t consider to be “normal,” and they want docs, not moms, to have the final say.
Persistent vomiting with dehydration during pregnancy?
Urinary tract infection in pregnancy?
You'll need obstetrician signoff that your birth is expected to be "normal." Learn more about our concerns here.
Planning to have a VBAC? The same rules apply. No home birth for you, unless you are lucky enough to find one of the few obstetricians who will go on record stating you "meet the criteria for normal birth.” And if you can’t find a VBAC-friendly obstetrician or you disagree with the assessment? Too bad. Your only options are to find another obstetrician, gear up for another cesarean, or go it alone at home. Not exactly ideal. Learn more about the new proposed rules for VBAC here.
We’ve come too far to let a special interest group with a vested interest in denying access to home and birth center births ruin a good piece of legislation.
It’s time to raise our voices again and say no to doctor permission slips for home birth!
If you live in Contra Costa & Solano Counties it is especially important for you to call your state Assemblywoman, Susan Bonilla, who is the author of AB1308 and has the final say over ACOG’s proposed changes to the bill.
If you live in these counties, please call Assemblywoman Bonilla’s office at (916) 319-2014 and thank her for removing physican supervision from midwifery law. Then, ask her to please say no to ACOG’s plan to require women to get a doctor’s permission for home birth.
EVERYONE ELSE: we need you to call your state Senators office because the bill is now making its way through the Senate. You can find your Senator here by clicking here.
Tell them to please ask Assemblywoman Bonilla to say no to ACOG’s plan to force women to get a permission slip from a doctor in order to have a home birth.
Please DO NOT call Assemblywoman Bonilla’s office unless you are a constituent who lives in Contra Costa or Solano County!
Our message is simple. We oppose any laws that require a midwife to seek a doctor’s permission to attend home births. And we oppose any laws that require a woman to seek a doctor’s permission to have a home birth.
Dear Midwifery Supporter,
You spoke. Your Senators listened.
IT’S TIME TO KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING.
The Senate Appropriations Committee, where AB1308—which now includes many positive changes that both CAM and CFAM requested, thanks to all of you—is scheduled to be heard on August 12, when committee members will decide whether or not AB1308 gets to live for another day so it can be amended to free midwives from the unattainable, unworkable, and discriminatory physician supervision requirement in state law.
BE AWARE: we have been warned that Appropriations can be a very treacherous committee where many bills go to die.
So if you live in any of the bolded areas below that are represented by members of the Appropriations Committee, it’sespecially important that you take the time to call your Senator’s office and ask them to please vote to pass AB1308 and to support striking the physician supervision requirement from California’s licensed midwife law.
Note: Members of the Appropriations Committee should be hearing from their constituents, not from people statewide.
If you do NOT live in one of the areas represented by the Appropriations Committee, midwives still need you to call your OWN Senators (http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/) and tell them that you would like them to contact their colleagues on the Appropriations Committee and ask them to please vote to pass AB1308 and to support striking the physician supervision requirement from California’s licensed midwife law.
Areas that need to generate phone calls today:
City of Los Angeles, Alhambra, East Los Angeles, Florence-Graham, Maywood, San Marino, South Pasadena, Vernon, and Walnut Park
Committee Chair, Senator Kevin De Leon, 22nd District (916) 651-4022
Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Woods, Tustin, Costa Mesa, Orange, Irvine, Foothill Ranch, Village Park, Corona Del Mar, Newport Coast, Lake Forest, El Toro
Vice Chair, Senator Mimi Walters, 37th District (916) 651-4037
Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Siskiyou and Sierra counties, Yreka, Redding, Auburn, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Grass Valley, Folsom, Placerville, El Dorado Hills, Susanville, Quincy and Alturas
Senator Ted Gaines, 1st Senate District (916) 651-4001
San Mateo County, northern Santa Clara County, including Mountain Viewand Sunnyvale, the San Mateo coastline from Pacifica to the Ano Nuevo State Reserve and peninsula cities from South San Francisco to Sunnyvale.
Senator Jerry Hill, 13th Senate District (916) 651-4013
Cudahy, Bell, Bell Gardens, Lynwood, Maywood, Signal Hill, Paramount, South Gate, Vernon, Walnut Park, Huntington Park, and most of Long Beach, parts Lakewood and Los Angeles
Senator Ricardo Lara, 33rd Senate District (916) 651-4033
The San Fernando Valley
Senator Alex Padilla, 20th Senate District (916) 651-4020
Senator Darrell Steinberg, 6th Senate District (916) 651-4006
Adeola Adeseun, Esq.
President, California Families for Access to Midwives
P.S. Please call TODAY - access to midwifery depends on it!
If you are following along on social media, you know we had a
big victory in Sacramento this week.
So, what's next? We have thanks to give! And we need to start getting organized for the next step towards making sure we #freeourmidwives!
First, thanks! Thanks to Assemblywoman Bonilla, who did two important things to help remove physician supervision on Monday.
ONE - she removed language in AB1308 that restated and outlined a plan for implementing California’s famously ill-conceived and unobtainable requirement of physician supervision of licensed midwives. Whoo hoo!
TWO - She verbally committed to amending the existing law to take physician supervision completely off the books. Another whoo hooo!
PLEASE THANK HER (using old fashioned pen and paper! No calls for now!) for her support.
Second, more thanks! Thanks to everyone who has called, e-mailed, gone on visits, and rallied yesterday in Sacramento. Assemblywoman Bonilla told the crowd yesterday that "You have made an impact here today." So true! The only way to combat ACOG dollars is your action. Thank you for all you have done so far!
BUT WAIT - WE ARE NOT DONE YET!!!!!!
The bill will need to make its way through the legislative process, including an important stop on the Senate floor, back on to the Assembly floor, and to the Governor.
We will need to be vigilant at every step. We have well-funded opponents who do not support the rights of every California woman to have access to midwifery.
What you can do now:
Help us build our numbers! We need more people so that when we need to light up the switchboards, we can mobilize thousands of concerned families. Please share our Facebook page often and ask people to sign up here http://bit.ly/CFAMaction
Help us raise funds! California Families For Access To Midwives is a not-for-profit organization made up of mothers, fathers, and community members, all of whom are donating countless volunteer hours to change the law. However, the legislative process is complex and campaigns require some degree of professional expertise… which costs money. We estimate our bare-bones budget to be about $30,000.Every donation makes a huge difference! If every supporter we had donated $3 today, we would surpass our current fundraising goal. http://bit.ly/freeourmidwives
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
If you live in any of the bolded areas below, midwives need you to call your Senator TODAY and ask them to please amend AB1308 to strike the physician supervision requirement from California’s licensed midwife law when they give the bill a hearing next Monday.
Please look at the list of California communities represented by members of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development, which has the power to amend AB1308 to free licensed midwives and the families they serve from the unworkable, unattainable, and outdated physician supervision requirement.
But the Committee won’t make these changes unless they hear from the people who elected them to office, their constituents.
It is extremely important for members of the Committee to hear from their constituents, not from people statewide. If you know people in the bolded areas below, please ask them to call their Senator today!
If you do NOT live in one of the areas represented by the B,P, and E Committee, midwives still need you to call your OWN Senators (http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/) and tell them that you would like them to contact their colleagues on the Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development and ask them to please amend AB1308 to strike the physician supervision requirement from California’s licensed midwife law.
Areas that need MASSIVE MOBILIZATION TO FREE OUR MIDWIVES today:
Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Beverly Hills, Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Santa Monica, Torrance, West Hollywood and the Palos Verdes Peninsula as well as portions of Long Beach and Los Angeles including, Beverly Glenn, Brentwood, Cheviot Hills, Harbor City, Hollywood Hills, Marina del Rey, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, San Pedro, Venice, Westwood and Wilmington.
Committee Chair Senator Ted Lieu, (916) 651-4028
Senate District 23, which includes portions of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties and all or portions of Banning, Beaumont, Big Bear City, Big Bear Lake, Cedar Glen, Calimesa, Cherry Valley, Crestline, Homeland, Hemet, Highland, Lake Arrowhead, Loma Linda, Menifee, Mentone, Nuevo, Phelan, Pinon Hills, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, San Bernardino, San Jacinto, Wrightwood, and Yucaipa.
Vice Chair, Senator Bill Emerson, (916)651-4023
Senate District 39, which includes nearly the entire city of San Diego, as well as the coastal areas of Del Mar to Coronado, as well as the core of San Diego.
Senator Marty Block, (916) 651-4039
Senate District 10, which includes Alameda and Santa Clara Counties.
Senator Ellen Corbett, (916) 651-4010
Senate District 5, which includes all of San Joaquin County and
portions of Stanislaus and Sacramento Counties.
Senator Cathleen Galgiani, (916) 651-4005
Senate District 24, which encompasses cities and communities from the City of Los Angeles to the Eastern San Gabriel Valley, including East Los Angeles, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights, City Terrace, Montecito Heights, Monterey Park, South San Gabriel, Rosemead, El Monte, Duarte, Irwindale, Baldwin Park, Industry, Avocado Heights, La Puente, Hacienda Heights, Valinda, West Covina, Vincent, Azusa, Citrus, Covina, and Rowland Heights. With recent changes due to redistricting, Senator Hernandez has been assigned to provide constituent services to Arcadia, Temple City and San Gabriel until the 2014 elections.
Senator Ed Hernandez, (916) 651-4024
Senate District 13, which includes San Mateo County and northern Santa Clara County, as well as the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale and the San Mateo coastline from Pacifica to the Ano Nuevo State Reserve and peninsula cities from South San Francisco to Sunnyvale.
Senator Jerry Hill, (916) 651-4013
Senate District 20, which covers the San Fernando Valley.
Senator Alex Padilla , (916) 651-4020
Senate District 38, which includes North San Diego County along Interstate 5 from the horse track of Del Mar to the Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton. Additional San Diego County cities include Bonsall, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Escondido, Fairbanks Ranch, Hidden Meadows, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego (Rancho Bernardo, 4S Ranch, Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley), San Marcos, Solana Beach, and Vista, as well as the South Orange County cities of San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, and the communities of Ladera Ranch, Las Flores, and Coto de Caza.
Senator Mark Wyland, (916) 651-4038
Senate District 8, which includes the western half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County, including the cities of Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Pacifica, Portola Valley, San Bruno, San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Woodside, as well as the unincorporated communities of Broadmoor, El Granada, Montara, and Moss Beach.
Senator Leeland Yee, (916) 651-4008
As the law is currently written, licensed midwives must secure supervision from a physician in order to legally practice. While the spirit of the law may appear to inspire collaboration between midwives and physicians, this is not the case.
Physician supervision is unattainable for midwives in California. Physicians are unwilling or, because of malpractice insurance limitations, unable to provide the required supervision. The result? Licensed midwives providing home and birth center births are currently unable to comply with California law.
Until now, this law has remained unenforced. However, a new bill (SB 304) would move enforcement of licensees from the California Medical Board to the Department of Justice. As we understand it, this bill was designed to tighten enforcement of dangerous prescription writing by a tiny minority of physicians. However, this legislation could have the unintended consequence of opening up midwives to enforcement of the existing physician supervision regulations.
Even if this SB 304 does not pass, one of our key allies - the executive director of the CA Medical Board - has mysteriously taken early retirement. Some have suggested she was forced out in part because of her support for home birth. A new executive director could quickly call for enforcement of physician supervision - which would criminalize most homebirth in CA.
California, Louisiana, and Arkansas are the only states where the laws governing the relationship between midwives and physicians fail to comply with the standards of practice outlined by National Association of Certified Professional Midwives.
We need you to tell legislators what we already know:
Licensed midwives are trained as experts in out-of-hospital birth and are autonomous providers.
Licensed midwives are specifically trained to recognize abnormal or emergent conditions needing expert help outside their scope.
Licensed midwives have a plan for consultation and referral when such conditions arise.
The most influential way to reach our elected officials is through visits from you - voters who care about home and birth center birth options.
We are looking for dedicated supporters to schedule a visit with your legislator in his or her home office.
New to the legislative process? We will provide you with support every step of the way, including talking points and a quick and easy how-to training you can do on your own time before the visit.
If you think you might be willing to learn more, sign up here. We will get back in touch with you next steps - and of course, a huge thank you for your support of birth options in California.
Adeola Adeseun, Esq.
President, California Families for Access to Midwives
Dear Midwife Supporter,
What do California and Delaware have in common? In both states, the law says that midwives who attend out-of-hospital births must do so under physician oversight even though midwives are trained as independent care providers.
The difference? Government officials in Delaware decided this year that it was time to enforce the physician oversight requirement in their midwifery law.
The result? Midwives are being issued Cease and Desist orders and have been forced to practice underground or not at all, while home birth parents, even those who have had accidental home births, are being visited by state investigators demanding to know who their midwives are. Other parents have been escorted by police during transports.
Don’t let California become the next Delaware.
Please call or email your representatives today and ask them to support an amendment to AB1308 to remove the unworkable and unattainable physician supervision requirement for licensed midwives.
Find out who your representatives are by clicking this link and inputting your address.
You have the power to protect your birth freedom by letting your legislators know that the physician supervision requirement in California’s licensed midwife law must go.
While AB1308 has important provisions in support of licensed midwives, it does not contain this critical protection.
Update us and tell us how it went!
Swing by our Facebook page here and let us know you called or e-mailed. If you get a reply, please share it with us!
Remember. All it takes is one government official deciding that it’s time to enforce the law as it stands and your right to have a home birth with a licensed midwife will be in jeopardy. Make your call today to protect the birthing freedom of California’s families.
Click below and we'll send you an action packet, complete with everything you need for a legislative visit.
Visits are the *most* impactful thing you can do to ensure access to midwifery in California!
Stay informed about critical legislative developments! We will update you with details about how you can take action for Licensed Midwives California.
California Families for Access to Midwives includes mothers, fathers, families and their communities who advocate safe, affordable and healthy birth options. CFAM is working to improve the health of mothers and babies by increasing access to midwifery care.
Read about families who have received quality support through the Midwifery Model of Care. Our families want everyone to have access to the same quality health care services that California licensed midwives provide.