The CPM in Illinois

I went to an amazing meeting on Saturday night of women in the underground circuit of midwifery here in Illinois. Not surehow much you know, but homebirth is legal in Illinois, but LMs(DEMs) and CPM's are illegal. So, a woman has to find an OB, FPMD,or CNM who does homebirths, or choose the u/a route.

Just find one of them and all is well and good, right?

It gets worse.

Out of 101 counties in Illinois, only 5 have ANYONE who is legally licensed (see above) to do homebirths. Because they are credentialled with a medical board, Illinois law states that OBs andCNMs cannot do breech, multiples, VBACs, or 41+ week homebirths.

FPMDs have even more rigid criteria to fullfill.

There is one CNM out of them all that 'breaks the rules' and two of her OBs are of the 5 OBs that will break the rules.

So, in essence, though it is not illegal to have a homebirth, Illinois is taking away the fundamental right of women to have safe and effective health care by limiting their options and ignoring the studies. This group I went to is a grassroots group hoping to lobby and change the laws here in Illinois. Since this law was passed 5-ish years ago, the 100+ CPMs in thestate of Illinois have gone underground. About 1/3 have been prosecuted by the state. It is a witchhunt. I was priveledged to meet a few of the ladies who still practice in the ug circuit. There are not many who still will take that risk. They both want me to start attending with them, as a labor support person, and later,when we HAVE changed the laws in Illinois, they want me to apprentice under them (earlier if I am willing to take the risk,they say).

Even though you aren't Illinois citizens, If you want to get moreinformation on this group, support them in any form, or contactfriends/family in Illinois to make them aware of the legal issues surrounding hb, feel free to check out this website:www.homebirthishealthy.org (oh, BTW, if you join as a member, you get this cool bumpersticker and invites to rallies/lobbying parties).


Anonymous said...

"Since this law was passed 5-ish years ago, the 100+ CPMs in thestate of Illinois have gone underground. About 1/3 have been prosecuted by the state."

Greetings!...I just found your blog, so I apologize for responding to one of your older posts...anyway, I only WISH there had ever been "100+ CPMs" in Illinois! I am not exactly sure what you are referring to -- DEMs? ...I doubt there have ever been 100 DEMs in IL at one time, and heaven knows there aren't now.

I was also curious as to which "law" you were referring to...perhaps the IL Supreme Court Cryns decision?

Thanks for bringing up these issues on your blog!

Valerie, one of IL's prosecuted midwives from 1983 to 2001

Nicole D said...

those are stats I found while talking with another midwife in the area of Crystal Lake while I lived there.

Yes, the law I was referring to was the IL Supreme Court Cryns decision. I would love to have a story from you sometime to post on my blog about your mwery in IL.


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