Almost exactly two years ago, in the spring of 2015, the passage of HB-9 established licensure of Direct Entry Midwives (DEMs) in Maryland under the umbrella of the Board of Nursing. After several years of outreach, letter-writing, lobby and rally days, legislative meetings and committee hearings, Maryland Families for Safe Birth members, families, and midwives traveled to Annapolis one more time for the official signing of legislation by Governor Hogan legalizing Certified Professional Midwives in Maryland!
The next step in the process was a long year of work by the Board of Nursing sub-committee which finalized all the practical and logistical details of the licensure and regulation process in accordance with HB-9. Finally, in late 2016 the application process actually began, and in January 2017 the first licenses were issued to Maryland Direct Entry Midwives. See the Resources page for a link to the Board of Nursing’s list of Maryland’s licensed midwives!
On the legislative front, in the two years since the passage of HB-9 MFSB has continued working with the lobbying firm of Harris, Jones and Malone, LLC. While no legislation was introduced in these two sessions, our goal has been to keep the issue of access to VBAC in the legislators’ minds while broadly arguing for transparency and evidence-based birth options both in and out of the hospital setting. We held a very successful Lobby Day in February 2017 and will continue to connect with and educate legislators between sessions as we develop a plan for future legislation and build relationships with legislative sponsors.
The outreach committee is focusing on growing Coalition MFSB! and reaffirming our members’ support of MFSB’s expanded mission in order to increase our community and legislative impact.
The events team is working hard on an exciting educational event that will occur in late spring 2017. Stay tuned for more details!