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.
New paternalistic amendments to a bill will restrict access to midwives
Your calls needed today - if you live in a key district, please consider a legislative visit
In its ongoing efforts to deny California families access to midwifery care, the medical lobby added 11th-hour amendments to a bill removing physician supervision from nurse-midwives. These amendments will severely restrict the autonomy of birthing families by giving physicians the power to decide who can and cannot receive care from a midwife. Most alarming, slight variations of normal pregnancy—such as being over age 35, a history of anxiety, any medical condition (even thyroid issues, IVF or any previous surgery) or a prior cesarean section—will require a pregnant person to submit to an examination by a physician.The physician will then determine whether the birthing person is allowed to continue care with a nurse-midwife.
Worse, the bill will force midwifery clients with any vaguely defined “risk factors” into physician care, even if they have refused such care. Under California law, clients of licensed midwives are subject to some of these same provisions. This bill adds even more paternalistic and non-evidence based barriers to midwifery care, in all settings, for all midwives.
We need to send a strong message to our elected officials that we will not stand for more assaults on birthing rights in the state of California.
After passing out of the State Assembly unanimously (68-0) last week, AB 2682 is now in the State Senate Business, Professions, and Economic Development committee and is on the fast track to becoming law. We need your help to stop it today!
IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
Action 1: Everyone!
Everyone! Find your State Senator’s contact information here and call or email them and ask them to please “oppose AB 2682 as amended as it will deny birthing families access to midwifery care and threatens patient autonomy. We continue to support removal of physician supervision of CNMs."
Action 2: If you live in the districts below
If you are in CA State Senate Districts 13, 5, 6, 7, 16, 21, 22, or 29 (you can check the maps below), please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be willing to join in a visit with your State Senator.
Action 3: If you live in CA State Assembly District 62
If you live in CA State Assembly District 62, please contact us at email@example.com if you would be willing to join in a visit with the bill's sponsor in July.
It is especially important for people living in State Senate District 13 to schedule a visit with Senate Business and Professions Committee Chair State Senator Jerry Hill. If you live in this district please contact CFAM today, after you make your call letting him know that “we oppose AB 2682 as amended as it will deny birthing families access to midwifery care and threatens patient autonomy. We continue to support removal of physician supervision of CNMs."
Check the maps here. Is your home located in any of the maps below? Your action is needed!
If you live in any of the following districts, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would be willing to join in a visit with your State legislator.
Senate District 13 State Senator Jerry Hill, (916) 651-4013
CFAM will provide you with talking points and pair you with another midwifery advocate to schedule a visit in your Senator’s Sacramento or in-district office.
Suggested talking points:
I oppose AB-2682 as amended because it limits access to midwifery care by placing physicians as the gatekeepers to midwifery care, even for minor variations of normal that midwives are trained to manage. I support removing physician supervision from nurse-midwives but I strongly oppose the added amendments.
Midwives are trained as autonomous providers and have the knowledge, experience and training to know when to refer to a physician for complications beyond their scope. Legislating physician referrals and forced compliance undermines midwives’ professional capacities and contributes to unnecessary medical expenses.
Share your personal story about how if these unethical amendments become law you would have been required to have an unnecessary physician examination to access midwifery care. Here are some examples of what ‘pre-existing conditions’ and variations of normal would require a physician examination to determine whether you can access midwifery care: thyroid issues, age greater than 35, previous cesarean section, appendectomy, gallbladder removal, anxiety or depression, being overweight, IVF.
AB 2682 creates a financial conflict of interest to allow obstetricians to be the gatekeepers to midwifery care.
All families in California deserve the choice of selecting their pregnancy care provider without forced compliance.
The most troubling amendment 2746.5(3)(f) completely eliminates the rights of midwifery clients to informed consent and forces them into physician care, even if they refuse:
“A certified nurse-midwife shall not provide or continue to provide midwifery care to a client with a risk factor that will adversely affect the course of pregnancy and childbirth, regardless of whether the client has consented to this care or refused care by a physician or surgeon.”
The above quoted section violates ACOG’s own ethical recommendations on informed consent and on the right of the pregnant patient to refuse medical care. These coercive clauses can potentially force mothers and pregnant people into an untenable situation where they have no maternity care provider and are forced to have an unassisted birth with all the risks therein.
Thank you for staying engaged and taking action to create a legacy of access to midwives for generations of Californians to come. This bill is being portrayed as about maternal choice and autonomy. We need your voice to educate legislators!!
Warm Regards, California Families for Access to Midwives Teresa Yu, Julia Goldin, Leilani Nguyen, Desiree Robles, Meghan McLean, Jinny Pagle