When home birthed babies grow into home birthed kids, the opportunities for legislative involvement and advocacy grow, too!
During the 2016 and 2017 legislative sessions, not only did babes in arms come to Frankfort but older home birthed kids and siblings attended as well. These children were present at our committee hearings, participated in meetings with legislators, and some even served as legislative pages for a day!
Both the Kentucky House of Representative and State Senate have legislative page programs. You can read the guidelines for the House here and the Senate here. For both programs, the starting point is to contact your respective legislator. Find your legislators here.
Serving as a page is a great opportunity for youth to interact with legislators one on one. It also allows for conversations about the child being born at home and, having siblings born at home, being present at the birth of a sibling, attending prenatal appointments, and more. Parents can also use the opportunity to talk to legislators about the importance of licensing midwives as well!
A great example of the impact made can be seen in this footage of the Senate chambers from February 17, 2016, which three young men from the Cannon family served as pages for Senator Alice Forgy Kerr. The boys all wore stickers that said, “A Midwife Helped Me Out.” During their introductions, which begins around the 2:00 mark, you will see Sen. Kerr reference the stickers!
Their proud mom, Amy Cannon, said of the experience, “Kids can get you so much farther than you yourself can go. The legislative body has visitors all the time from all sorts of places, but they are much more likely to remember a passel of cute kids coming to visit than a couple of adults! Plus, educating your children on the legislative process and what will be going on during your visit is a great way to re-educate yourself! We had a great experience (actually, three of them last session) and I highly recommend taking your kids to the Capitol!”
In addition to the page program, visiting the State Capitol is a great learning experience. Free guided tours of the new Capitol building are available daily, beginning at the tour guide’s desk in the rotunda. Other points of interest in Frankfort include the Old Capitol, the Governor’s Mansion, the Lieutenant Governor’s Mansion and the Kentucky History Center.
While on a field trip to the Capitol, the Lasley family met with their State Representative to discuss our legislation. Later, the family ran into Governor Matt Bevin outside of his office! Gladys did not miss the opportunity to mention home birth to the Governor.