Legislation 2018

A bill to issue permits to Certified Professional Midwives in Kentucky has been filed in the Kentucky State Senate for 2018. Senate Bill 134 (SB134) is sponsored by Tom Buford (R) of Nicholasville. It is co-sponsored by Sen. Julie Raque Adams (R), Sen. Dan “Malano” Seum (R), Sen. David Givens (R), and Sen. Denise Harper Angel (D).

Read SB134 here.*
*This page gives a summary of the bill. To read the full text of the bill, click on the link at the beginning of the description for SB134.

Summary of SB134

  • Would issue permits to midwives who have obtained the nationally accredited credential of Certified Professional Midwife (CPM); Does NOT license “lay” midwives (an antiquated, often derogatory term for traditional midwives who have not gone through formal education);
  • Calls for educational requirements that are consistent with International Confederation of Midwives guidelines and with national midwifery educational standards known as US MERA, which requires completion of an accredited education program as criteria for licensure (see below for more info on US MERA);
  • Creates a Certified Professional Midwives Advisory Council under the Board of Nursing tasked with recommending regulations, overseeing applications, creating a public complaint process, handling disciplinary actions, and is comprised of three CPMs, two CNMs, two OBs, a neonatal health care provider, and a member of the general public. There is also a member of the Board of Nursing who serves in a non-voting capacity and is a liaison to the Board.
  • Directs the Council to create a list of medical tests that can be ordered by a CPM and a list of specific medications a CPM may obtain and administer, but not prescribe (e.g. Rhogam, anti-hemorrhage medication, vitamin K);
  • Specifies annual reporting requirements;
  • Integrates CPMs into the existing healthcare system, allowing open communication with other healthcare practitioners such as Obstetricians;
  • Calls for the creation of regulations outlining requirements for the home to hospital transfer process;
  • Requires CPMs to complete birth certificate paperwork and perform state-mandated newborn testing, ensuring that no babies fall through the cracks;
  • Increases cost-effective maternal care services for rural and underserved urban populations; and
  • Does not create vicarious liability for hospitals or other healthcare providers.



US MERA stands for US Midwifery Education, Regulation, and Association.  It is a collaboration of the national United States midwifery organizations representing education, regulation/certification, and professional association for midwifery.  Since 2011, this collaborative has formulated and adopted an agreement that sets educational minimums for states creating new laws to license for CPMs.  The work of US MERA has been shaped by the International Confederation of Midwives’ (ICM) Global Standards for Education, Regulation, and Association, and the ICM’s Definition of a Midwife.

The agreement states that any states seeking licensure for CPMs shall include the following criteria for licensure:

Read more about current Kentucky midwifery law