It has been over a year since Kentucky Home Birth Coalition was born and we began to lay the groundwork to license Certified Professional Midwives in Kentucky. I have spent more time in front of my computer than I have ever wanted to; learning social media, maintaining the website, creating a database of all our supporters, and making contact with many of you. I also had the pleasure of getting out from behind the computer and into the real world. Our community meetings let me travel throughout our beautiful commonwealth to meet some of the women (and men) who believe in birth and are devoted to our cause; a surprisingly diverse group of people from many walks of life and all across the political spectrum. As I traveling through the endless hills of Kentucky, the foggy Appalachian Mountains,and the green pastures it became clearer to me how we are a lot more a like than we might appear. It is not just that we share the belief in physiological birth and a woman’s ability to make her own choices about where and with whom to have her baby. It is more basic than that. I think I can say with some certainty that we share a sense of self determination. The belief that every person has the right to make the life they want for themselves and their children, starting at birth. This gives me confidence that we will shape our state how we see fit, including ensuring that mothers in our state have access to midwifery care.
As the session in Frankfort draws to a close two things are apparent:
1. Our bill SB106 will die in the Senate Health and Welfare committee without a hearing.
2. We have learned many valuable lessons that make me even more confident that we can succeed in our efforts to license midwives in Kentucky.
I would say our first session was successful. We have identified our major roadblocks, language in the bill that needs to be addressed, major supporters we can count on and have seen that we have a motivated base of supporters ready to step up. (A special thanks to the Bowling Green area folks!) We are asking you to stick with us, we have A LOT of things to do in the “off season” and we need your continued support. There will be fundraisers, meetings, movie screenings, meetings with legislators, etc. that we will need you participation in. Ready to get started? Make a donation online or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org about organizing a fundraiser in your area. Once again thanks for your support and I look forward to working with you in the coming year!
KHBC steering committee member Jennifer Olliges