Last week was the closing week of the Alabama legislative session. The Alabama Birth Coalition has been fighting for and introducing legislation to allow Certified Professional Midwives to practice within Alabama for a DECADE. (That is 10 years!) CPMs would help relieve the current overburdened OB medical care system and give Alabama women more birthing options than the current medical model of care. While the House Health Committee hearing for HB284 showed a high demand and support for the bill, House Health Committee Chairwoman April Weaver decided not to call HB284 to vote. In fact, she decided not to make time to call HB284 for a vote to move it out of the committee for the legislative session. What a disappointment for the Alabama women! Actually, to add insult to injury, the Alabama legislation did find time for naming an official state cake. In the years past, they have found time to name an official state bird, folk dance, nut, and crustacean. All of these things trivial, to saving Alabama mothers and babies.
Even with this disappointing ending, HB284 did receive a great amount of chatter about Alabama’s lacking maternal healthcare, the lack of birthing options for women, and the need for change. Each year, each bill gains more recognition within the state media, among Alabama women, and even in the Alabama medical associations.
We can only hope the ABC will introduce another amazing bill to decriminalize and support Certified Professional Midwives for Alabama next year. And that it will be supported and passed.