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House passes bill to legalize midwifery

April 21, 2005
By: Meghan Kloth
State Capital Bureau

The bill that would de-criminalize the practice of midwifery moves to the Senate.

Meghan Kloth has more from Jefferson City.

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The House passed a bill that would let midwives legally deliver babies in Missouri.

Missouri is the only state where it's a felony for midwives to practice without a doctor present.

O'Fallon Representative Cynthia Davis sponsored the bill and says birthing choices should be left up to the mothers.

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"I think it's a piece where we are taking a little bit of power and putting it where it belongs, and that's with the mom. Because no ones loves the baby more or wants to have a good birth more than the mom."

Opponents of the bill say the lack of safety regulations for midwives could hurt the mother and child.

From the state Capitol, I'm Meghan Kloth.

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A bill that would give mothers more options when it comes to child birth moves to the Senate.

Meghan Kloth has more from Jefferson City.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

The House passed a bill that would make the practice of midwifery legal in Missouri.

Missouri is the only state where midwives aren't allowed to practice without a doctor present.

Jackson County Representative Ray Salva says he opposes the bill because there aren't enough safety standards for midwives.

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"There is no registration. You don't have to have a license to be a midwife. There is no formal traininng, there is no certificate. I could walk out of here tomorrow, or you could, and say we're a midwife."

Under the bill, midwives would still need to disclose their experiences and training to clients.

From the state Capitol, I'm Meghan Kloth.

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A bill that would give pregnant women more choices when it comse to childbirth moves to the Senate.

Meghan Kloth has more from Jefferson City.

Story:
RunTime:
OutCue: SOC

The House passed a bill that would let midwives legally practice in Missouri, giving more women the option of having their children at home.

The bill sponsor says the bill is a result of mothers across the state pushing for more freedom in chossing birthing methods.

Missouri is the only state where it's a felony for midwives to practice without the presence of a doctor.

Debbie Smithey is President of the Missouri Midwives Association and has given birth to her three children at home.

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I've had the most wonderful experiences of my life giving birth to my three kids. It was so powerful and it was enjoyable, and I would really like to be able to pass that on to other people, especially my daughter."

Opponents of the bill to de-criminalize midwifery say there aren't enough safety regulations to protect the mother and child.

From the state Capitol, I'm Meghan Kloth.