Some of you may have heard our battle cries at the end of 2016 when we learned that the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecologists announced that they would be pursuing a bill that could impact Florida Licensed Midwives. For those of us on The Council and most midwives state wide we completely agreed that bill itself was not necessarily a problem- the issue is that the state attorneys felt the only way to accomplish this was to open our law. THAT could be a big problem on a state level and thus as midwives we needed to organize carefully and quickly. This meant we needed to hire new lobbyists and revitalize our grassroots efforts. For those (see also: mostly everyone! This stuff is overwhelming and confusing!) who don't know- when a Statue is opened THE WHOLE THING is opened which means laws could change in a way that severely impacts a Licensed Midwife's practice.
So WHAT DOES ALL THIS ACTUALLY MEAN? To be frank it means lobbyists are expensive! We have a huge outstanding balance we owe our lobbyists who are representing us in Tallahassee on the state level. Many midwives, student midwives, consumers, and activists have been shedding their blood, sweat, and tears during this long labor to be sure we are well represented and that progress keeps moving forward and not backward.
WHAT I AM WRITING TO ASK ALL OF YOU! We need to raise approximately $10,000 by May and are looking to raise $33,000 total for continued efforts. Every last dollar goes to support representation of midwifery in Florida. Why $33,000 you ask? Because since our law was passed in Florida in 1996 over 33,000 babies have been born at home and in birth center's across the state into the capable and loving hands of Licensed Midwives (well I am sure most were right into the hands of their mama's or papa's BUT according to Florida Vital Statistics a Licensed Midwife was there to watch!)
To all of my personal clients, friends, midwifery advocates, colleagues, and cheerleaders I have a challenge for you. In addition to my service on the Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery and contribution of time & energy over the past 9 years to advocacy in this state I am personally donating $1000 towards this cause. I would L O V E to see this amount matched by my people. My community that held me up for so many years and helped me to become a better midwife every.single.day. To the trail blazing women before me who paved the way for legal midwifery in my home state. To the granny midwives who were pushed out of practice in the 40's in my very own home town. To the mamas who pushed for hours, the ones who didn't really have to push at all, the families I have laughed with, and especially the families I have cried with. To the cesarean warriors, VBAC mamas, and the mamas who rocketed babies out so fast I barely made it in time. To all of the families who trusted me and our team and welcomed us into the most intimate moments of their transitions into parenthood. I cannot wait to stand on Capitol Hill in Tallahassee next week with all of you literally and figuratively behind me.
If you would like to join me in supporting midwifery you can do so directly as a donation directly to The Midwives Association of Florida via PayPal to MaFloridaTreasurer@gmail.com or through the Go Fund Me page which can be shared widely.
Even if you cannot contribute financially P L E A S E take a moment to share this widely and possibly even share your own story of working with a Florida Licensed Midwife. If you cannot do that- yall at least go hug your midwife's neck!
Thank you for your support, your love, and your trust in all that midwifery care means.