California midwifery legislation says that all midwives must practice under the supervision of an obstetrician, but it is currently impossible to comply because obstetricians are threatened with losing their malpractice insurance if they supervise midwives. In reality midwifes are all unable to comply with this law. The medical board is aware of this, but so far has not attempted to enforce the supervision issue. They are now starting to enforce this law with a Californian licensed midwife, Constance Rock. Why signing this petition is so urgent is that if during the medical board hearing (on January 23rd!) Constance Rock is charged with aiding and abetting in the illegal practice of midwifery it could set the precedent for all midwifes to have this current ineffective law enforced. Ultimately the outcome could be that all midwifes would lose the right to practice midwifery legally.
What midwifes currently have are 'collaborative relationships' with obstetricians. This means that if a midwife has a concern about one of their clients they consult with, or refer their clients to see the obstetrician. Then, together in collaboration decide the best plan for care. If a clients develops a complication in labor, the obstetrician is on call and midwifes can transfer their clients into the care of the obstetrician in the hospital. This model has worked well it just needs to be worded differently in legislation.
There is work being done by our state midwifery organization to change the supervision wording in our legislation to collaborative, but it hasnt happened yet.
Please sign this petition letting our U.S. senators know how important changing this legislation is. By signing the petition you are in agreement that the legislations NEEDS to be changed so all women, children and families have the choice to receive the one-on-one attention and care that midwifery provides.