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Midwifery could be decriminalized in Alabama

Lawmakers could, for the first time in decades, decriminalize midwifery in the state.

Lawmakers could, for the first time in decades, decriminalize midwifery in the state. This would give women more birth choices in Alabama,

It could lead to more women giving birth at home and birth centers instead of traveling to border states to deliver.

Chloe Raum is a mother of four and a Certified Professional Midwife who practices in Tennessee.

She recalls delivering her first born 15 years ago, using a midwife.

“We had a lovely birth at our home in Alabama and then several months later she was prosecuted, just for doing her job, ” said Raum. 

Since then Raum has been an advocate, pushing lawmakers to pass a bill allowing midwives to legally assist families with out-of-hospital births.

Some mothers and expecting mothers are hoping for the first time, this becomes real.

“Alabama needs more options for prenatal care, not fewer options. House Bill 315 is designed to meet that need, ” said Raum. 

The bill, which passed the house for the first time two weeks ago, protects midwives who are nationally trained and credentialed.

Emily McClelland has a seven-month-old son and said, “We had a bad experience with an OB in town and it was traumatic enough that I decided to take the two hour trip.”

She traveled to Nashville to use a midwife.

“There are women that are going without prenatal care in rural areas because it’s two hours away from anybody that’s qualified to take care of a pregnant woman, ” said McClelland.

Opponents argue midwifery is risky and mothers should have immediate access to emergency care.

“Midwifery care is a wonderful option for healthy mothers who are having normal pregnancies, ” said Chloe Raum.

Raum says out-of-hospital births do come with more responsibility, but says families should still have options.

The state judiciary committee will revisit the bill Wednesday.

If voted on and passed, it will head to the senate floor.

Alabama is one of six states with active CPM (Certified Professional Midwife) bills in legislative process.