Illinois lawmaker looks to legalize midwives statewide

Illinois lawmaker looks to legalize midwives statewide

Illinois state Representative Robyn Gabel is making her second attempt to legalize midwife licenses in the state.

If passed, the bill would attract more midwife providers to Illinois.

Supporters say the measure would lower the state's medicaid

"Women wanting to have a home birth will have a home birth," said Peaceful Blessings Birth Services and trained Duola, Abbey Pherigo.

HB 4364, otherwise known as the Home Birth Safety Act, is in its second attempt to be passed in Illinois.

Right now, there is a birth crisis within the state because there aren't enough certified midwives.

In 1963 Illinois stopped issuing licenses and criminalized the practice in 1987.

"Just personally I've spoken to a lot of women who would have loved to have a home birth but it's not an option in this area."

With just over 100 counties in Illinois, only ten have access to certified home nurse midwives.

Pherigo says midwives are even a huge relief to tax payers.

"My hospital birth compared to my midwife at home birth was $6,000 less, just saving on facility fees alone will be a great reduction to the taxpayer," she said.

Opponents say babies should be born in a hospital in case of medical emergencies.

But for women like Abbey who've experienced an in-hospital birth and an in-home birth, it's not a matter of picking one or the other.

"There's still a huge market for hospital births and for OBGYN's and I think if the bill does get passed it will give an opportunity for midwives and OB's to work together to provide the best maternity care possible for women in the state of Illinois."
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