Midwives talk change

June 03, 2013

Arizona midwives searching for middle ground over changes to their profession will attend a public meeting at the Department of Health Services in Phoenix Monday afternoon. This continues what one midwife calls an ongoing conversation over midwifery in the state.

New rules from the state health department regarding homebirth take effect July 1, but Sarah Butterfly said there are many more changes she and fellow midwives would like to see as well. One of the most contentious involves the right for patients to refuse certain tests, like an HIV test. In a traditional hospital setting, a mom-to-be has the right say no, but that is currently not the case for patients who want to use a midwife.

 "So the way that our rules are written, if our clients decline certain things, they then have to have their midwifery services terminated," Butterfly said.

 Butterfly said midwives and patients across the state are fighting for additional changes, including allowing midwifes to carry certain medications and to assist in multiple and post-cesarean section births.

The health department meeting is at 4 p.m. Monday.