Letter to Midwives, Clients and Supporters
June 28, 2010
Dear Midwives, Clients and Home Birth Supporters,
Here in Colorado we are fortunate to be one of only 27 states where it is legal for midwives to practice. This is due to the efforts of the Colorado Midwives Association (CMA) and our supporters, who triumphed in 1993 after more than a decade of effort. They worked tirelessly to legalize direct-entry midwifery. We now practice as “Registered Midwives” regulated by the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Colorado law dictates that DORA must conduct “sunset reviews” for all regulated professions, most commonly every 10 to 15 years.
The Sunset Process…
Homebirth midwives—Registered Midwives—must undergo the sunset review process in 2011. While the sunset review has the potential to limit our scope of practice, it is actually an opportunity to improve the way DORA regulates midwifery. DORA is in the process of evaluating the Colorado Midwives Registration Program, interviewing midwives, the Colorado Medical Society, the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners and the Colorado Nursing Association to name a few. They are reviewing current literature and relevant studies, along with the most recent statistical data. The DORA report will be published in October 2010 and will be considered by the Colorado General Assembly during the 2011 legislative session.
A Grassroots Campaign…
We are writing to you because this fall, all of the seats in the House and half of the seats in the Senate are up for election. This creates a HUGE opportunity for us. The newly elected legislators will vote on the homebirth legislation in the spring—so, if we can show them support during their campaigns, they may be willing to support us next year during the Legislative Session. Therefore, in order to succeed in 2011, we need to gather the support of homebirth advocates throughout the state. The CMA is compiling a database of supporters in order to get people elected who know and support Colorado midwives and homebirth. This is our best strategy for successful legislation in 2011 and we need your help! We need names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of people who are willing to be involved in this effort. We can accept pre-compiled lists; individuals are invited to sign up on the CMA website, www.ColoradoMidwives.org.
How You Can Help…
This summer, the CMA will ask supporters to participate in helping elect candidates who support homebirth. During the 2011 legislative session (January through May), the CMA will ask individuals to let their Senators and Representatives know about homebirth at strategic times during the process. Different members of the legislature are on different committees, and contacting them right as the bill reaches them is the best time to ask for their support. Overall, we expect to contact the whole list of supporters only a handful of times during this election season and the legislative session next year. Of course we’ll never sell or share this contact database with anyone else. And, if anyone on our list chooses not to be involved, we will take them off the list and not contact them again.
Our legislators need to hear from us about the importance of maintaining home birth as a safe and legal option in Colorado. If we work together, we will succeed. Please, if you have any questions or concerns, contact anyone on the legislative committee.
With gratitude for all your support,
The Colorado Midwives Association Legislative Committee: Karen Robinson, CMA President; Jan Lapetino, CMA Secretary; Laura Luckett, Colorado Springs; Kathryn Raynes, Lakewood; Jennifer Dossett, Boulder; Jennifer Barr, Carbondale