The Chicago Tribune today reports on an “underground network of midwives” who flout bans in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and other states. Critics often brand these midwives as “lay” or untrained — and unqualified to attend birth, they argue — but certified professional midwives, who are included in the bans, “are nationally certified through the Midwives Registry in a highly selective process that takes three to five years of study, including one year of clinic practice and an eight-hour written exam.” In Missouri, CPMs who practice are committing a Class C felony. “Can you imagine that?” Jessica Kerr, a new mother told the Tribune. “I make the personal choice to have my baby at home, assisted by a midwife of my choosing, and that is illegal?” Read the full article here.
*Note: the graphic above is illustrative but slightly outdated and not entirely accurate. Alaska doesn’t belong in the pink, and New York and Rhode Island honor the “certified midwife” credential. There are also states in the green zone where CPMs have been prosecuted, such as Pennsylvania, even though they were thought to be legal by default. Click here for a map showing exactly which states recognize certified midwives.