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Updates and Information
Positive amendments to AB1308, but further amendments still needed to remove physician supervision
06/14/2013 10:24 AM
The Assembly bill regarding licensed midwifery, AB 1308 by Susan Bonilla, was amended yesterday. These amendments are one step toward the achievement of our legislative goals this year, but not the final step. While CAM officers have worked hard for these amendments, which will decrease barriers to safe care, and increase access to licensed midwives for California families, CAM is continuing to push for the most important amendment to the bill: removing the physician supervision requirement and all reference to creating standards of care defining physician supervision.
The June 13th amendments:
Add the term "drugs", therefore authorizing licensed midwives to directly "obtain and administer drugs and diagnostic tests" that are necessary to midwifery practice.
Clarify that a midwife does not need to identify a specific physician and surgeon in her/his licensed midwife disclosure to clients regarding referral for complications.
Add licensed midwives as providers to the licensing law for alternative birth centers. Only CNMs and physicians can currently attend births at licensed alternative birth centers, which impacts access to midwives for many families.
Reflect the name change of the organization the American Association of Birth Centers, formerly known as the National Association of Childbearing Centers.
See AB1308 here: http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_1301-1350/ab_1308_bill_20130613_amended_sen_v97.pdf
SB 304 and AB 1308 are moving along in the legislature
06/03/2013 12:45 PM
Updates regarding SB 304 and the Medical Board of California
SB 304 – the Medical Board Sunset Review bill – as currently amended, will take investigation and enforcement away from the medical board and give it to Department of Justice instead. SB 304 has passed through the Aenate and is now in the Assembly.
The California Medical Board has called a special meeting on Tuesday, June 4th to discuss the continued employment of its Executive Director Linda Whitney and the selection of an Acting Executive Director. Linda Whitney has been an ally to Licensed Midwives and we do not know what will happen with a new Executive Director. CAM officers will be present at the meeting tomorrow and will post updates after the special meeting.
Specifically related to licensed midwives, SB 304 authorizes CNMs to supervise students studying to become licensed midwives during their supervised clinical training, and states that bona fide midwifery students must be enrolled in a board approved clinical training program.
Updates regarding AB 1308
AB 1308, as currently amended, authorizes licensed midwives to obtain supplies and testing, but does not yet meet the needs stated by CAM and consumer advocates to protect families' access to midwifery care, and to protect the practice of midwifery. CAM continues to advocate for specific amendments to AB 1308. AB 1308 has passed out of the Assembly and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development. A hearing date has not yet been set.
Meeting with Assemblymember Susan Bonilla
04/11/2013 3:44 PM
Last week CAM officers continued to build relationships with the members of the Senate and Assembly Business and Professions Committees.
We were accompanied by our lobbyists from Paul Hastings, as well as our extremely effective junior lobbyist, baby Lucía, pictured here at the Capitol with CAM president Constance Rock.
We met with Assemblymember Susan Bonilla, who is authoring AB 1308: Midwifery, and had the opportunity to hear her perspectives and goals with the bill as well as share our own. While we were unable to secure the specifics of the bill in this meeting, Assemblymember Bonilla committed to CAM that the legislation will be positive for midwives. Two of her own children were born with midwives and she understands the importance of the care that midwives offer to mothers and babies. The bill is set for hearing on April 23rd, and a CAM representative will be present to testify.
We then had a productive meeting with staff and other stakeholders, working through the wording of the next version of the AB 1308. The legislative process is unpredictable, and bills change quickly and often, but we are optimistic that some of CAM's legislative priorities will be addressed as the bill is amended.
We also met with the office of Senator Price regarding the sunset review bill for the Medical Board, SB 304. We brought to their attention the provision allowing CNMs to supervise student LMs into the bill, and we have been informed that language authorizing CNMs to supervise student LMs has been added. Good news for students in California! SB 304 will be heard in committee on April 29th.
There is still much work to be done, but each time we enter a legislative office and make connections with staff who really 'get' the reality of the maternity care crisis in the US, we feel more confident that change will come for families and midwives in California over the next several years.
For our legislation to be effective, we'll need the support of you and consumers around the state. In the near future, we'll be asking for your help with key action steps, from calls, letter writing, and legislative visits to providing support for the newly forming consumer group
California Families For Access to Midwives
. For now, you can show your support by sharing this update with your California midwifery e-mail lists, local birth groups, and anyone you think should be kept up-to-date on this important legislative work.
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