The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a Public Hearing for SB 99, The Home Birth Safety Act to take place in the state House on Jan. 29 in Room 325 at 1 p.m, with the date, time and location subject to legislative updates.
The Home Birth Safety Act is sponsored by Senator Paul Bussman (R-Cullman) and supported by the Alabama Birth Coalition.
SB 99, and its companion bill, HB 67 sponsored by Representative Mike Ball (R-Madison), would enable Alabama families choosing home birth to receive care from Certified Professional Midwives (CPMS), without their midwives risking prosecution for attending their births.
Alabama law currently allows families to choose home birth as long as their home births are not attended by any professional care provider. Any midwife who attends an Alabama home birth risks prosecution.
"Alabama legislators have a responsibility to make home births the safest possible," says Lisa Clark, long-time Alabama Birth Coalition supporter. "As parents, we are asking that our babies and mothers be given access to the same safe, affordable, culturally respectful care that mothers and babies in other states benefit from."
CPMs are specifically trained to attend home births, and are prepared to facilitate life-saving first response in the event of a complication arising at home.
In other states, CPMs work with medical professionals to ensure the highest quality of home birth care. Alabama is one of only eight states which prosecute CPMs who attend out-of-hospital births.
The Alabama Birth Coalition is a non-profit, grassroots, all-volunteer organization made up of Alabama families. The organization has introduced bills to increase access to CPMs since 2007.
For more information on the Alabama Birth Coalition and The Home Birth Safety Act, visit: http://www.alabamabirthcoalition.org/. To find people in Lee County who support the Alabama Birth Coalition, find the Lee County Supporters of Alabama Birth Coalition on Facebook.