Licensed midwives and supporters rally at the State House Feb. 16 for equal access to hospital care

CONTACT: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/1/21 Jami Morris, President of Palmetto Association of Licensed Midwives

803-920-1014

jmorris@imgservices.com

Licensed midwives and supporters rally at the State House Feb. 16 for equal access to hospital care in emergencies and to propose a Board of Midwifery

COLUMBIA – South Carolina Licensed Midwives and their supporters will rally at the South Carolina State House 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16 to demand equal access to hospitals when expanded services become necessary for their mother and baby patients. The public is invited to attend and show support for midwives, equal access to hospital admittance and free choice of a woman’s birthing options.

A current Department of Health and Environmental Control regulation specifically denies midwives’ and birthing center patients from equal access to perinatal care and level II hospitals from accepting “outborn” babies – babies that are born anywhere other than in a hospital. DHEC resolution 61-16 lists every other maternity care provider in the state of South Carolina, including prison infirmaries, except for midwives and birth centers. This could lead to life or death situations in an emergency for either mothers or their newborn babies. The Midwife Practice Act has been introduced which will support a Board of Midwifery meant to prevent DHEC from being the final authority on midwifery matters in the future. Licensed Midwives have been regulated by DHEC since 1971 without a statute to define or protect their profession and scope of practice.

Various midwifery groups including the Midwifery Advisory Council, Palmetto Association of Licensed Midwives, and the South Carolina chapter of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives approached DHEC about the oversight, but DHEC has refused to make the necessary changes to protect mothers and babies. Instead, DHEC has proposed stringent regulations that further inhibit access to care during emergencies and place additional restraints upon women choosing Licensed Midwifery care.

Therefore, these three midwife organizations along with many of their supporters, current and past patients and babies they have helped birth are set to rally on Feb. 16 to raise awareness of this issue.

For more information, contact Lori Heffner Gibson, CPM, LM at 704-607-6776 lorihgibson@gmail.com, or Jami Morris, CPM, LM President of Palmetto Association of Licensed Midwives at 803-920-1014 jmorris@imgservices.com.

For more information about the regulation and SC bills: https://www.carolinawaterbirth.com/post/equal access-to-hospital-doors-in-south-carolina?fbclid=IwAR0HzCM-smgRjRAW6azZj QxspCp8r9H4Tl06CC0hSpf4kYHGCflawt55Ew

For more information about the importance of coordination of care between midwives and physicians: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0192523

http://www.PalmettoMidwives.org

Proposed bills: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess124_2021-2022/prever/3510_20201216.htm https://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess124_2021-2022/bills/3232.htm

Proposed Regulation: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/regs/4974.docx

Attorney General statement: http://2hsvz0l74ah31vgcm16peuy12tz.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp content/uploads/2018/01/Taylor-M.-OS-10219-FINAL-Opinion-1-18-2018-01569888xD2C78.pdf 01573628xD2C78.pdf



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