FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE THURSDAY MAY 9, 2013
Libertarian Party of Nebraska Supports Nebraska Midwives
In March, the Nebraska State Legislature was to hear a bill, 428, which would remove restrictions on Certified Nursing Midwives to be present at home births. Currently Nebraska is one of only two states which still criminalize a CNM being present at a home birth without a doctor. This bill, if it was to have passed, would have given more freedom in the medical choices for families in Nebraska. Unfortunately, the bill did not get voted on, and has been moved to an interim study. It is important that we let our State Senators know that after the interim, this bill must be brought back for a vote and passed.
During this interim period of June 2013 through January 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services will be conducting a study to review if any changes should be made to the proposed bill. They will review how other states have handled the process and look through numerous studies to come to a better understanding of why the current law is in place, and to also understand why the current Nebraska law needs to be repealed.
The fact is that home births have increased from 1990 to 2009 in the country by almost 30%. 1 in 90 births are now done at home. Home births in Nebraska have exceeded the national average over the last 5 years. The CDC has said that the majority that choose to do home births are usually lower risk pregnancies, women 35 or older, and have already given birth to at least one child previously. Most home births are now planned due to a variety of reasons, from religious to cultural to simply the comfort of being in a familiar surrounding with close family.
Nebraska joins Alabama as being the only states which do not allow for Certified Nursing Midwives to be present at home births. The CNM can be present in a hospital setting. Doctors can be present at home births. The current law is inconsistent and clearly shows that CNM’s have the training and expertise to deliver a child. Recent studies, including the one from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, have stated that a birth with a CNM is associated with fewer interventions than a non midwife caregiver.
With our current medical training and technology, a home birth can be just as safe as and more comfortable for the family than a hospital birth. Nebraska must move forward with allowing more personal freedom and choice as it pertains to medical care. We strongly urge the review board with HHS and the Nebraska Legislators to bring this bill back up for a vote after review, and to pass it. LB 428 is the first step in gaining practical access to CNMs during a home birth. Please join the Libertarian Party of Nebraska in supporting Nebraska Midwives and Mothers. Write your current State Senator and let them know this needs to be passed.