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CopyRight Citizens for Midwifery 2010

CfM TOOLKIT: Stand Up for Healthy Birth & Home Birth

TOOLKIT CONTENTS -- Inside you will find more information and resources

INTRODUCTION:Stand Up for Healthy Birth & Home Birth!

Page Contents:




    Recent statements from both the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) claim the hospital is safest for birth, attack the training of Certified Professional Midwives, and suggest that women and families should not have the choice to give birth at home.  Further, the AMA has recently adopted “Resolution 205” to promote anti-home birth legislation.


    These resolutions and position statements against home birth are not supported by any credible scientific evidence, but serve the interests of obstetricians and medical doctors over the needs or rights of women, babies, or families.


    Both of these trade organizations have public credibility and well-financed lobbyists, so they have a lot of influence in government, insurance, and regulatory arenas.  Legislation and regulations that could effectively restrict access to homebirth in one form or another would not be difficult for them to accomplish, especially in states that do not yet license CPMs, but even in states that already have licensed midwives attending homebirths.


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    The best defense is a good offense!  Citizens for Midwifery asks that, as citizens, we reach out to our legislators and other policy makers with information about ACOG and the AMA (and their state chapters) about their motivations and agendas regarding maternity care. 


    We can also provide our legislators with the scientific evidence about the safety of planned home birth with a trained midwife, and the well-recognized principles of human rights supporting women and families deciding where and with whom they will give birth.


The Goal:  Legislators and policymakers will

  • Read between the lines and question agendas when they hear from medical lobbyists
  • Question their supporting scientific evidence and understand a bit more about the research
  • Know why it is completely inappropriate for these organizations to be allowed to control decisions about public policy and restricting health care choices for pregnant women and their families, choices that ARE supported by scientific evidence
  • Understand that AMA & ACOG agendas for maternity care conflict with research based approaches that promote healthy birth that is more likely to result in healthy mothers and babies.


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    We have assembled a comprehensive collection of resources, how-to's, and materials to help you educate your legislators and communicate these key ideas and information.  The tool kit provides details about this issue, plus lots of ideas and suggestions, to use to whatever extent you want.   Use what works for you, whether you take action on your own or as part of a group.


    You can stand up for homebirth choice whether you had one or not.  This action is NOT about the homebirth experience. It IS about retaining our individual ability to decide where we will give birth and to not be penalized for exercising it, especially when the option under attack is evidence-based and health-promoting.


    We know that you understand the importance of this issue! Do read about communicating with your legislator and the many possible talking points. To be effective it is important to focus on healthy mothers and babies rather than “a great experience”.   The idea is for legislators to hear from a lot of us, because they are certainly hearing from ACOG and AMA lobbyists.


ACOG and the AMA may have the big bucks and lobbyists, but we can have an effect.  The power of organized people CAN overcome the power of organized money!


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    Take some time to understand both the issue and what your legislator cares about.  This tool kit includes the background and facts you need, as well as resources for finding and learning about your legislators or “target audience.”  If you don't have the time or the desire to read through this whole kit, below is a list of the most important things to look at and a way to get started. 

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We (women, babies, and families) need your help! 

    Despite their claims otherwise, ACOG and the AMA are abusing our trust by misrepresenting home birth and midwives and by working to outlaw the choice of midwife-attended home births. 


  1. ACOG and AMA are TRADE ORGANIZATIONS: They seek to promote self-serving legislation that is more concerned with market share than the safety and well being of mothers and babies.

  2. NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS for AMA and ACOG positions:  Recent position statements and resolutions by these organizations are based on belief and innuendo, with NO credible supporting evidence. Science shows us that planned home birth with a trained midwife is safe for most women and their babies.

  3. US BIRTH OUTCOMES ARE GETTING WORSE:  With 99% of births taking place in hospitals, the positions of the AMA and ACOG would not solve the problem of poor and deteriorating outcomes.  Instead they would restrict all families to hospital-based, doctor-controlled maternity care, that routinely promotes and uses unnecessary practices and procedures that are proven to be harmful or risky to mother and/or baby. In most industrialized countries midwives are the primary care providers, with better outcomes at far less expense than the US.

  4. AMA and ACOG positions CONTRADICT BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS:  No legislation should interfere with fundamental human rights to have autonomy over our bodies, including the right to give birth at home.


    Your help is needed to stop ACOG and AMA and protect planned homebirth, because one-size-fits-all maternity care is harmful.  Stand up for access to healthy, evidence-based maternity care, including the choice of a midwife-attended planned home birth.


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