To License or Not to License?

Real professionals don’t balk at being licensed because they understand that actual standards need to be in place. This whole piece operates on the premise that a midwife will make a birth safer, when in many cases it made a birth worse. Jessica Weed is a perfect example, but of course there are many more chronicled on this blog and others.
This isn’t about the freedom to choose a birth out of hospital. You can still do it alone or with someone who has no medical role at all. Practicing unlicensed is about the “right” of midwives to set their own practice standards based on whatever loopy bullshit they believe and then escape real consequences when someone is maimed or killed. They can only be prosecuted if their negligence reaches the level of criminality, so these cases I can find in the news represent a fraction of the problem with unlicensed midwifery. Shame on you. You don’t give two fucks about the actual safety of patients.


This is a question that has plagued the midwifery community for years. Those behind the “Big Push” want to legalize midwives, but with licensures behind them. Advocators such as Carla Hartley, among others, believe that while legalization of midwifery across the board is a must, requiring licensure will spell the end for mother’s rights in regards to their births. Those who advocate for licensure of midwives, which would make “lay” midwives and other direct entry midwives (DEM) who do not have a nationally (or state-wide) recognized license such as Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) illegal practitioners, argue that licensure sets “a standard” and “proves that the midwife underwent apprenticeship and training”. They also point out that with a license, midwives could be covered by insurance which would open up so many more families to homebirths. While this all may be true, I believe, along with those who advocate for legalization without…

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