Welcome to Illinois Friends of Midwives!
Our new bill has been filed! PLEASE take a minute to visit HomeBirthSafetyAct.org: put in your address to find your state legislators and send this pre-written e-mail showing your support and asking them to vote YES!
March 15th update on our bill status:
About two weeks from now we expect to hear from IL ACOG. If ACOG does present us with a bill at that time, then we will have no time to go back to our Representatives and ask them to support HB4364 before it is called to committee. We have to get them on board now.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS ILLINOIS STATE REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE IN THEIR HOME OFFICES. Now is the time to visit your rep. Call and ask for an appointment in the next two weeks. If your rep has repeatedly ignored you, show up in person. Come with a flyer or two and the news that ACOG is likely to present us with a bill they agree to. (Even if you only talk to an aid in your rep’s office, that counts.) If you are a voter (you are, right?) mention that! Every Rep is up for reelection! *Ask them for their support*
It’s now or never. The House is our first hurdle. If we don’t clear it, we all go home empty handed. PLEASE, call, visit, and follow up with an email.
CFIM (ILFOM and ICCPM)
Illinois Friends of Midwives (ILFOM):
We are a consumer-run group that seeks to serve Illinois homebirth families by organizing our community and working to license Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs). Here you can find local homebirth support groups and events, find out what’s going on in Illinois homebirth, and learn how to use the political process to improve the lives of birthing families.
ILFOM is part of the Coalition for Illinois Midwifery.
Why does Illinois need CPMs?
Right now, there is a shocking shortage of legal homebirth providers in Illinois. With only 7 licensed practices, most in the Chicago area, the vast majority of families choosing homebirth are forced to leave the state or hire unlicensed, and thus unregulated, midwives.
Also, Illinois prosecutes more midwives than any other state. Due to Illinois’ aggressive and punitive approach to midwifery, mothers who plan home births are finding providers through a black market. Most often, their choices, if any, are extremely limited. Their midwife of choice, the one everyone talks about, may have stopped practicing or moved out of state. They may be only able to find a midwife who is just learning or is not nationally certified. They may not be able to find any home birth midwife at all and birth with an untrained friend or plan to birth unassisted.
ILFOM believes this situation is unconscionable and we seek to convince the Illinois Legislature that they have a duty to ensure a minimum level of safety for all birthing moms in Illinois. Black market health care is a really bad idea. It offers zero collaboration and zero standards.
Unfortunately, for decades, Illinois State legislators have refused to license Certified Professional Midwives. The CPM credential is the only healthcare credential that validates home birth expertise. 30 states rely on this credential as the standard for regulating home birth providers. We don’t see home birth maternity care shortages in these states. In these 30 states, women can look online or in an old fashioned phone book to find home birth midwives. ILFOM wants Illinois to fix this problem. We want women throughout our beautiful state to have access to safe, licensed home birth care.