|Posted:||June 3, 2020 12:59 PM|
|From:||Representative Rosemary M. Brown|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Modernizing Professional Midwifery in Pennsylvania|
|I am currently working on legislation for modernizing professional Midwifery in Pennsylvania. Midwifery has been recognized in Pennsylvania since 1929 (Midwife Regulation Law of 1929, P.L. 160, No. 155.), but midwifery practice was fairly limited statewide until the 1970’s when formally educated, and nationally certified, nurse-midwives (CNM’s) sought official licensure. A major overhaul of midwifery regulation occurred in the Medical Practice Act of 1985, followed by legislation to assure access to liability insurance in the early 1990’s, and finally attainment of prescriptive authority in 2007(P. L. 324, No. 50). As has been well-documented in scientific literature, professional midwives are an essential part of the current women’s health workforce, leading to greater access to care and improved health care outcomes. Yet, in Pennsylvania, there are multiple barriers to practice because of outdated regulation.
In PA we have a state-wide shortage of providers. Some rural counties having no obstetricians or licensed midwives, and poor urban areas struggle to recruit and keep providers. Current cooperative working relationships exist between the professional associations of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), leading to integration of midwifery providers into the education of resident physicians and midwifery staffing of labor and delivery units across the entire state. We desire to see midwives integrated into all types of locales and practices in Pennsylvania, not just academic health centers. However, the growth of professional midwifery practice in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is handicapped by a number of issues that we propose to mitigate through a “Midwifery Modernization Act.” I hope that you will join me as a co-sponsor of this initiative and offer your input as we move forward to best update this profession and improve healthcare for our Pennsylvania residents.