States look to create licensure system for midwives: 5 things to know

New midwifery rules in Maine reflect increasing efforts by states to create a licensure system, according to an Associated Press report published by ABC News.

Here are five things to know about the Maine rules and the national trend.

1. A bill passed by Maine lawmakers requires midwives be licensed by the state while also setting educational requirements and standards for data collection, according to the report. The rules take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

2. Nationally, more than half of the states require licenses of midwives, and efforts are in progress in almost every other state to create a licensure system, Eleanor Daniels, a Maine midwife and president of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives, told the Associated Press.

3. Maryland and Rhode Island have new midwife licensing laws, while Illinois is close, Ms. Daniels said in the report. She noted that Maine's legislation can serve as a template for other states looking to create a licensure system.

4. Various organizations have shown support for Maine's new legislation, including the Maine Association of Certified Professional Midwives, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Maine Medical Association, Maine Family Planning and the Alliance for Maine Women.

5. Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) initially vetoed the legislation, but an April override by the legislature saved it, according to the report. In his veto message, he noted that the licensure program would cost about $130,000 in its first three years, and that the bill was passed without funding.

 

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