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Pre-Legislative Season Updates

For Options, For Dignity, For Midwives! 

2015 Legislative Season Is Almost Here

December 2014


Dear Midwife Supporters:
Below you will find updates from our committees. As we head into the 2015 legislative season, it will be more important than ever to stay informed of our progress and needs.

from our President:
Hello Friends and Families, and Happy Holidays!
First I want to offer our heartfelt thanks to ALL who participated in helping us to bring in our VBAC expert, Dr. Stuart Fischbein. The arguments he made in support of VBAC spanned normalizing birth, safety and risk (both relative and absolute), hospital policies and how they often conflict with evidence based care, to the necessity and value of true informed consent and the barriers to that very consent. He argued, as we argue, that these decisions should be left to the one who will live with them: the mothers giving birth.

At the end of the last legislative session, we seemed poised to make some real progress. We had the votes of the committee, it’s been said we had the votes of the house, but our bill was still put in the drawer because what we did not have was a consensus bill, which was necessary to be put forth to a vote.

Starting late last spring, with AIMM leading, the bill has been shared with every stakeholder involved. Everyone who may be affected by the passing of our midwifery bill was invited to be a part of these conversations; to comment, add, subtract, multiply, or divide, based on their perceived needs and contributions. Throughout the summer, emails went back and forth, concerns were raised, and issues addressed. This process concluded with four (4) stakeholder meetings, ending in October. Everything that could be done to meet the needs of the opposition, save shelving the bill (!) or making the bill unacceptable to AIMM or Maryland families, was done to accommodate the needs of all. The bill is in the process of being drafted formally to share in its entirety once again, prior to putting it forth. All of this has shown the good faith effort to include everyone in the process; to reach a consensus.

The reality is that we have gained much. We have more supporters now than ever before. The Nursing Board is working together with AIMM to iron out the details of how to make this happen effectively. While we have come a long way, and we now have a bill where everyone had an opportunity to contribute and voice their concerns, we still expect to see some opposition, particularly from ACOG.  We expect that they may support some but not all of it, or they may not support it at all. It will be an amazing, but highly doubtful, result if they support the bill in its entirety. At this point in time the major leaders of the health department seem to be in lockstep with ACOG. Despite evidence presented and issues resolved, they have deferred to and agreed with ACOG all along, particularly where VBAC is concerned.

But, there is hope here, too. We just had an election. We have a new governor and many new legislators and we have no idea who will be in the leadership of the health department. This could go either way.

So HERE’S WHERE YOU COME IN.

Now is the time for each of us to reach out to our newly elected leaders and congratulate them. Contact Governor Elect Hogan’s transition team and tell them how important this is for the women and families of Maryland. Contact your newly elected sitting officials. If they have been supportive, thank them and ask for their continued support. If they are new to the scene, tell them why this is so important to you, how it will affect you and why you need them to be a part of the solution. I CANNOT stress enough, that VBAC MUST be included in these conversations. Even if you have never needed a VBAC, try to imagine that you could with any future pregnancy. Please write your letters, make your phone calls or send your emails; the more personal, the better. Representatives really respond to your own personal stories. They want to know how this will affect their constituents, and what problems will be solved by supporting this bill. (Aside from the Governor’s transition team, please keep this to your own representatives.)

Finally, be on the lookout for an updated resource page on our website. This new page will make information gathering much easier to find.

Please, feel free to call me with any questions or concerns.

We thank you for your continued support, and look forward to seeing you in Annapolis in the (very near!) future.

Warm regards,

Kathy Talbott and all of the MFSB team
408-mybirth  

from the Outreach Committee:
Greetings MFSB community! Our outreach committee has been in action mode working on building a coalition of support as we head into the legislative season. Coalition MFSB! is our effort to show how the issue of midwifery access is part of a larger human rights issue that matters across sectors. Organizations have been signing on to support the right of women and families in Maryland to seek and obtain reproductive justice in all of their maternal healthcare decisions. Our team is still in need of a co-leader to help coordinate our actions into the 2015 legislative season and beyond. Please email Celia for more info or to get involved in a leadership or team member capacity.

Thank you, and early season's  greetings to you and your family. 

from the Events Committee:
Find Peace, Stay Calm
A Big Success
 
Thank you to all that came out for our Find Peace, Stay Calm workshop in Montgomery County. It was wonderful to spend the glorious fall day deepening into the wonders of motherhood. 

Lead by Alexandra Hughes, a transformational women's coach (
www.theblissspace.com), participants were invited to explore life's balances and joys through movement and meditation. Journaling exercises uncovered some of our shared challenges as mothers and women in society.  Alexandra encouraged those present to develop an awareness when one's inner critic begins to permeate their thoughts. She empowered everyone to cultivate a self-love voice, one that values and cares for you as a person. Participants departed feeling rejuvenated and reminded of the importance of creating time to connect with your inner wisdom.  
 
We are now looking forward to the legislative session starting in January. We plan to coordinate lobby days and a rally as well as a 5K Miles for Midwives Run in the spring. We hope to bring in a speaker for the rally and organize visits to our legislators. If you have any connections or ideas for a speaker that could join us at the rally or if you feel moved to support our team, please contact Andrea.
 
Please volunteer today to help us reach our goals!
 

from the Legislative committee:
Post-Election Update! We are in a great position moving forward into the legislative session. Of the 141 seats in the house, 44 of the delegates have already told us that they are supportive of CPM licensure. Of the 47 senate seats, 8 of the senators have told us that they are supportive. We were unable to connect with the rest of the elected representatives before the election, but the legislative team will continue to follow up on this.

At this point, please consider calling your elected officials, congratulating them, and telling them how important this legislation is for your family.  We are also asking you to email Kirra if you begin a dialogue with your representative, so that the legislative team can follow up with them. 

In the sidebar to the right is a list of the supportive delegates and senators. You can look up your district and representatives with the link below.
Find your elected officials 
 


SPOTLIGHT

DECEMBER 2014

EXCITING NEWS!
Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women (MLAW)
included our midwifery legislation this year to be presented at their Fall Agenda Conference on November 15th. Karen Webster and Ariana Kelly presented information on the bill to those present, along with presenters from 6 other proposed pieces of legislation. All members of MLAW will be voting to choose the top voted bills. They will decide, based on the votes, which bills they will back this year. MLAW has a good track record for helping get legislation passed!

If you want a stake in the vote, you can join MLAW and make your voice heard! Membership costs: $35 for individuals (1 vote) $70 for Organizations (2 votes).
 

POLITICAL
SUPPORTERS BY DISTRICT

Supportive Delegates
1C Mike McKay
2A Neil Parrott, Andrew Serafini
2B Brett Wilson
3A Karen Lewis Young
4 Kathy Afzali, Kelly Schulz
5 Justin Ready, Susan Krebs
6 Robin Grammer
7 Rick Impalleria, Pat McDonough
11 Dan Morhaim, Dana Stein
13 Frank Turner
14 Eric Luedtke, Craig Zucker
16 Ariana Kelly
18 Al Carr
19 Bonnie Cullison
20 Will Smith, David Moon
21 Joseline Pena-Melnyk
26 Kris Valderrama
29B Deb Rey
29C Tony O'Donnell
30A Herb McMillan
31B Nicholaus Kipke
32 Pamela Beidle, Mark Chang (likely supportive)
33 Cathy Vitale
34A Glen Glass
37B Christopher Adams, Johnny Mautz (likely supportive)
38C Mary Beth Carrozza
39 Kirill Reznik, Shane Robinson
40 Barbara Robinson
41 Nathaniel Oaks
42A Stephen Lafferty
43 Curt Anderson, Mary Washington
46 Brooke Liermann
47A Dianna Fenell

Supportive Senators
5 Joseph Getty
13 Guy Guzzone
14 Karen Montgomery
20 Jamie Raskin
28 Thomas Mac Middleton
31 Bryan Simonaire
34 Bob Cassilly
46 Bill Ferguson
 


Support Midwifery T-Shirts Now Available Online
Go to MFSB's website to order T-Shirts.
Adult Women's, 
Men's, and Children's sizes.
 


NEW FEATURE:

BirthCorps

BIRTH STORIES FROM OUR SUPPORTERS

This is the birth story of Lindsay's first baby. Lindsay is a medical physicist living in Baltimore city and is a member of MFSB's legislative team. 

After staying up late Thursday night to watch the first half of the Ravens game, I was awoken at 1 am on Friday (my due date!) by my first painful contractions. I knew that they would be pretty far apart and it wasn't worth waking A up, because he'd need the sleep. How right I was! Contractions came about 10 minutes apart until around 7 am, when they started to get more intense and I called the midwife to let her know something was going on. She suggested getting into my bathtub and hanging out for awhile to see how that went, which I did. Contractions continued at the same pace, which was encouraging because, Hey! Labor! :)
... To read the remainder of Lindsay's birth story, click here.
Please send us your birth stories! 
 


New Resources Page 
To find more resources about evidenced-based care, Maryland statistics and facts, birth, lobbying and advocacy, and midwifery in general, visit our new MFSB Resources Page.

 
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