Legislation 2019

UPDATE: SB84 has passed both chambers of the Kentucky Legislature and is awaiting signature from the Governor! Read the press release here.

A bill to license to Certified Professional Midwives in Kentucky has been filed in the Kentucky State Senate for 2019. Senate Bill 84 (SB84) is sponsored by Tom Buford (R) of Nicholasville. It is co-sponsored by Sen. Julie Raque Adams (R), Sen. David Givens (R), Sen. Mike Wilson (R), Sen. Paul Hornback (R), Sen. Denise Harper-Angel (D), Sen. Reggie Thomas (D), and Sen. Perry Clark (D).

Read SB84 here.*
*This page gives a summary of the bill. To read the full text of the bill, click on the word “Introduced.”

Summary of SB84

  • Would issue licenses 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 US accreditation standards and 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, which is known to lead to better outcomes;
  • Creates a work group to develop guidelines 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 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