Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homebirthing Families in MS Need Us NOW!

"Action isn't a burden to be hoisted up and lugged around on our shoulders. It is something we are. The work we have to do can be seen as a kind of coming alive. More than some moral imperative, it's an awakening to our true nature, a releasing of our gifts."  ~ Joanna Macy

Where were you when you found out that the state of MS was about to pass a law to outlaw direct entry (non-nurse) midwifery?
Twenty months ago, I recieved an email from my midwife alerting me that there was a fast moving effort in Jackson to restrict midwifery to nurse midwives only.  The law would outlaw the midwives who care for home birthing families.  Amazingly, the supporters of home birth in MS joined hands across the state and built a wall to stop that law from going any further.  Organizations across the country were impressed with our fast action. Where do we stand now?

We have been building relationships - with legislators, Department of Health, MS Nurses Association.  Here it is bluntly:  If we don't get this bill passed to license midwives, someone else is going to get a bill passed to make direct entry midwives illegal.  We have to pass the "Midwife Standrds Act" which requires midwives optain the CPM credention to be a Licensed MS Midwife. We have done a lot of work to make sure we have the very best law in the US.  One that improves home birth for mothers and babies while elevating the profession of midwifery.
To accomplish this, I need you each to take a moment to reflect.  What will MS be like in 10 years if the "Midwife Standards Act" is passed?  What if ACOG gets its way and puts an end to direct entry midwives?  I have a pretty clear picture in my mind of what I want to see for MS families.  Just talk to a midwife or homebirth family in one of the 26 states that has licensed midwives, like FL or TN.  Ask them what acess to and care from idwives is like in their state.

What is your role in this? 
To pass the "Midwife Standards Act" we need help from every corner of the state. We need YOU to contact your legislators right now to let them know how important this issue is to their constituents.  Personally, I am working my way from my own district out to other areas - calling legislators.   I am willing to spend several days a week in Jackson while they are in session (January-April).  However, I have had to ask myself, what will I do if we don't have money to pay for these trips?  I have turned down opportunities for paid work, so that I can dedicate more time to this.  So, I am already working with a reduced income.  In addition to the countless hours I dedicate, how much can I take from my family's budget to pass this legislation?

I am asking for your help.  There are several states working on passing similar legislation with big budgets and paid lobbyists.  Thankfully, we have a few families that are donating enough time to be "lobbyists."  We work on a very small budget.  Please read the options below and think about how your family can help the families on MS for generations to come.

Thank you, Bianca Wooden
Co-Founder and President
Contact me anytime: 228.233.0686, me@biancawooden.com

Can you offer your time?
1 min: CLick on "Update your Preferences" at the bottom of this email and make sure we have your address and phone number.
5 min: Forward this email to a friend that wants to keep homebirth legal
15 min: Write a note to your Senator or Representative and tell them how much the "Midwife Standards Act" means to you.
30 min: Call your Senator or Representative and tell them how much the "Midwife Standards Act" means to you
1 hour: Join a board member for a meeting with your Senator or Representative
5 hours: Set up a booth at a local park or farmers market to spread the word.
20 hours: Volunteer to be our "Fundraising Coordinator" and organize an online fundraising effort.

Can you donate money?
$3: Send you a bumper sticker so you let others know about us.
$10: Stamps and envelopes to mail 15 letters to legislators.
$20: Make 200 flyers to distribute to legislators.
$30: Gas for a board member to drive to Jackson (just one way).
$100: Hotel room for a board member to spend the night in Jackson.
Other: Donate an item or service for a fundraising auction.

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