Access to midwifery care is a birth justice issue.
Bring Back the Black Midwife
Black Lives Matter And MomsRising want to bring the black midwife back. Too often, Black pregnant women die because of preventable birth complications, which has prompted the resurgence of the Black midwife.
"Integrating midwives into our primary health care system is an important way we can combat death during pregnancy and delivery." - Patrisse Cullors (Black Lives Matter)
Birth Justice is Social Justice
Nia, a queer, non-binary Black parent, wants a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), and to be more in control of their experience. They think this is more likely to happen at home, with a midwife of color who understands their cultural and gender-related needs. However, Masshealth and private insurance don’t cover homebirth, and they cannot afford to self-pay. Read more about birth justice in "From Roe to Reproductive (In)Justice: Inequality, Reproductive Freedom, & Access" by Nechama Sammet Moring, Ashley Houston, Bayla Ostrach (Solidarity, Jan 30, 2018)
Massachusetts has one of the lowest home birth rates in the country. In order for home births to be eligible for coverage under Medicaid/MassHealth, providers must be licensed. Making care with a license certified professional midwife eligible for Medicaid/MassHealth will open up this birth option to the 40% of births in Massachusetts paid for with Medicaid/MassHealth or other public funds.
advancing social and racial justice
"We see this bill as advancing both social and racial justice... Without this bill, many women will continue to be denied access to home birth midwives." - Judy Norsigian (founder, Our Bodies Ourselves) and Jo-Anna Rorie, CNM, MSN, MPH, FACNM, PhD