Your NPR news source

Lawmakers nix licensing midwives for homebirths

SHARE Lawmakers nix licensing midwives for homebirths

It will remain unlawful in Illinois for midwives who lack advanced medical training to attend homebirths without supervision. Illinois House members on Thursday night voted down a bill that would have created a state license for nationally certified midwives.

Each year hundreds of Illinois women give birth in their home. Some are following religious beliefs. Other women are trying to avoid medical interventions such as C-sections.

Physicians and advanced nurses willing to attend home births are in short supply. The bill would have set up state licensing for certified professional midwives to step in. The measure’s sponsor, state Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, said it would have increased safety for the mothers and babies.

But the Illinois State Medical Society and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists argued the midwives couldn’t handle many birth complications.

The vote against the bill was 71-47.

The Latest
It’s election day, and hundreds of teens are serving as election judges. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a case that could impact more than one million student people in Illinois with college debt. Local groups are stepping up to provide shelter for asylum seekers arriving in Chicago.