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Bill allowing for licensed midwives won’t advance in Iowa legislature

DES MOINES – An Iowa Senator said this week that a bill that would allow for the licensing of midwives in Iowa and the creation of a board to regulate the practice of certified midwives would not advance for a vote in the legislature.

According to Amanda Hardy Hillman, President of the Iowa Birth Organization, Iowa Senator Jeff Danielson told her this week that the “bill will not be moving forward”. The Iowa Birth Organization is a grassroots movement whose mission is to promote equal access to evidence-based maternity care across Iowa.

Many woman are opting for home births, or births that involve a midwife and a less-intrusive method of giving child birth, that omits many of the standard practices performed in hospitals, such as drugs, painkillers and other un-natural practices.

Senator Danielson’s Senate subcommittee will not advance the bill to the Senate floor for debate and a vote, he said this week. A long list of lobbyists came out against the bill, including the Iowa Independent Physician Group, the IA. Medical Group Management Assn., the IA. Medical Society, the Polk County Medical Society, the IA. Academy of Family Physicians and the IA. Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics.

“My impression from our conversation is that you intend to use your position to kill a bill that benefits Iowa families, and that you have supported in the past,” Hillman told Danielson. She claimed that Danielson didn’t like her “tactics” in working to get the bill moving forward out of the committee.

Technically at this time in Iowa, a midwife could be charged with practicing medicine without a license and fined for delivering a baby, among other penalties.

“We just want safe and legal access to midwives,” Hillman said.

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