Smear Campaign Against Missouri Midwives

On June 26, 2008, the Missouri Supreme Court declared that professional midwives can now assist births within the state. Due to lack of validity of their arguments, physicians' attempts to block the law were dismissed by the Court. This is excellent news for mothers who have had to either have illegal homebirths or birth in a different state to avoid unnecessary medical procedures.

In response, the coalition of physician groups that tried to block the legislation began a smear campaign suggesting that midwives would be able to perform abortions.

The group Citizens for Midwifery used the following quote in a recent press release:

"To suggest that CPMs [Certified Professional Midwives] are trained to do abortions—or that they would even want to—is beyond the pale. CPMs are all about delivering babies - abortion is not within their scope of practice. Abortions are performed by obstetricians, not by midwives," said Mary Ueland, grassroots coordinator for Friends of Missouri Midwives (FOMM).

"This interpretation is incorrect and obviously so," stated Susan Jenkins, legal counsel for the National Birth Policy Coalition and a member of the legal team for FOMM. "The new law clearly references the federal Medicaid statutes to define the scope of practice for which CPMs are certified and, as everyone knows, the federal Medicaid program does not cover abortion, except under rare circumstances as defined by the Hyde Amendment. More importantly, CPMs are not certified to provide abortions by their certifying body, the North American Registry of Midwives, and this statute is directly linked to CPMs' certified scope of practice. The basic certification of CNMs does not include abortion either."

You can read the release in its entirety here:

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