Stay informed about critical legislative developments! We will update you with details about how you can take action for Licensed Midwives California.
Who We Are
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.
Welcome and Help our new president Tanya protect VBAC
December 8, 2014
First and foremost I would like to thank Adeola Adeseun and the CFAM community for the vote of confidence and opportunity to lead CFAM in our new direction. As a mother of four who has always sought midwifery care, it is imperative to me that ALL women have the access to midwifery care. And today we will be asking you once again to protect midwifery with your voices!
I began my work with CFAM as a homebirthing, homeschooling, Navy spouse who had just moved to California. After having my fourth child at home, I became more determined than ever to do my part to ensure that every woman has information and access to their options of birth out of the hospital, with a midwife. I began to see this as a social justice as well as reproductive justice issue.
While working as a social media intern at CFAM with a handful of passionate volunteers and consumer activists, I was involved in the campaign that led to the passage of legislation, AB1308, making midwives autonomous care providers. In that short period of time, CFAM was able to play an integral part in changing California law and history.
But our work has just begun. We won a battle, but the fight is far from over. Some are trying to undermine the intent of the law by creating regulations that drastically limits our ability to seek and choose midwifery care. As we speak, discussions are taking place in regards to who MUST get a doctor's approval and permission to receive midwifery care. Breeches and twins were unfortunately taken off the table during the creation of the law, but VBACs are still up for debate. There are other regulations that, if implemented, would require me to get permission to have a future homebirth. That will not stand! CFAM is prepared to attend all Midwifery Advisory Council (MAC)and Interested Party meetings (IPM) to ensure that our voices are heard and that we have a seat at the table. The MAC is the body that is appointed by the medical board to oversea midwifery issues, and includes midwives, members of the medical board, and public appointees. IPM are meetings conducted by the Medical Board to allow for public comment and discussion about the proposed regulations mandated by AB 1308.
Doctors and midwives are represented, but the most important party MUST be represented—YOU, the consumer! We must demand that we are a part of the conversation when decisions are being made about our babies, our bodies and our births.
So… we will be calling on you to tell your stories about how the proposed regulations will affect you. We will ask for your presence in Sacramento. And, most of all, we will ask for your support in making sure our voices are heard, loud and clear. Please use the talking points below to write a letter to the Medical Board, or better come to the meeting.
Our work continues and expands, CFAM is energized and is looking forward to supporting legislation adding Licensed Midwives to the Comprehensive Perinatal Care Program providers. We plan to support CNMs as they propose legislation to remove physician supervision from their midwifery act, and we are working to support changes in MediCal to include coverage for Licensed Midwives, and improving the social security card process for out of hospital births.
We have a lot of work to do and Adeola has left huge shoes to fill, but I am supported by a fantastic board of advisors. With your support, CFAM can accomplish even more than we already have. Are you ready? Because I am, and I look forward to the year ahead.
Join us at the Interested Party Meeting on December 15th and make your voice heard to protect VBACs. If you cannot come write a letter! Lastly if you can make a donation today to help us continue this important work.
Tanya Smith-Johnson, MS
Help Protect VBAC with Licensed Midwives!
Two ways you can take action now:
Attend the Interested Party Meeting of the Medical Board Of California
December 15th 1 to 4 pm
Medical Board of California, 2005 Evergreen St. Sacramento Ca, 95815
Or write an email to the Medical Board with your feedback concerning the proposed regulations.
To: AnnaMarie Sewell, Annamarie.firstname.lastname@example.org and she will pass them to the committee. Please CC us a copy of your letter so we have a record of the letters sent email@example.com
Subject line: Help us keep VBAC an option for families in California.
When you are writing your letter, or preparing a statement please keep the following in mind
Ask the board to leave in place a system in place that already works. Currently, families desiring VBAC review the current ACOG VBAC guidelines and discuss their unique risk profile with their midwife, allowing for a process of informed consent. This system has been in place for many years without risk to birthing families. There is no evidence that a visit to an OB will increase safety or more accurately assess a family’s VBAC outcomes.
Encourage the board to trust that midwives can and will, using their clinical judgement, refer clients for consultation as necessary.
Tell the Board that adding the requirement to see a physician in order to have a VBAC with a midwife only restricts a woman’s right to choose her care provider without any evidence of increasing safety. In fact for some women in California it could essentially ban VBAC as a choice all together. (if you live in a community were there are no facilities that offer VBAC please include that in your statement or letter)!
In a few sentences tell the board why, being able to choose midwifery care without unreasonable restrictions, is important to you.
Ask the board to regulate only those diseases and conditions that clearly need physician consultation because they are likely to affect pregnancy, to allow for changes in the medical evidence.