With the defeat (46-71) of the Home Birth Safety Act at the very end of the last legislative session, the Illinois legislature decided that Certified Professional Midwives in Illinois shall remain unlicensed. The Coalition for Illinois Midwifery (CFIM) is re-introducing the bill in the new session and it has a new number, HB2940. In the meantime, however, Illinois home birth families have again been left without legal, licensed providers throughout most of the state.
To help alleviate the danger in which this places home birth mothers and newborns in need of emergency transports, together with this bill, the CFIM is also introducing the Home Birth Integration Act, HB1665. This is a new approach designed to save lives in the event of a hospital transport. This bill would help eliminate the fear of repercussions for transporting to the hospital from a planned home birth with an unlicensed midwife. It is already being compared to infant Safe Haven laws which allow parents in crisis to anonymously bring newborn infants to hospitals, police or fire stations and be shielded from any subsequent arrest or prosecution. The bill has been assigned to a committee and needs to pass through this step before it can be voted on by the full House of Representatives.
Please call or email your reps to voice your support and ask them to sponsor HB1665. Roxann MtJoy at Change.org wrote this article about the bill and the site has also begun a petition you can sign today to ask your Illinois state representative for support.