Legislation tied to midwifery across Kentucky generated a great deal of debate in the state senate Tuesday.
The measure aims to define certain midwife services while also creating the Certified Professional Midwives Advisory Council. Bill sponsor Tom Buford says this offers medical oversight through the Board of Nursing. “Now this is not a question of whether or not we’re going to have home births because we are. This is a question of whether you want those home births to be safe. To be a somewhat certified individual that comes into that house, knows what they are doing,” said Buford.
The senate rejected on an 18 to 19 vote an amendment offered by the legislative body’s only medical doctor, Winchester Senator Ralph Alvarado. It required a transfer agreement with hospitals in case of medical complications with home births. Elizabethtown Senator Stephen Meredith, a retired hospital CEO, spoke in favor of the amendment. “Now I know we can present the scenario that a home delivery is a beautiful experience and I’m sure when everything goes right, it is a beautiful experience. But again, there is no such thing as a simple delivery,” said Meredith. “My concern as I expressed in our caucus is, when it goes bad, what happens then.”
The bill, without the amendment, goes on to the House where Buford admits time is of the essence if it is to pass this session.