The House this week easily approved legislation aimed at making it easier for midwives to operate legally in Indiana. But the bill’s future is less certain in the Senate.
Legislation in 2013 established the framework for legalizing midwifery. But the law requires midwives to have written collaborative agreements with physicians, and unwillingness by doctors to enter into those agreements derailed the state’s attempt to create a licensing process.
Brookston Republican Representative Don Lehe says his bill this session is meant to help restart the process of getting midwives certified.
“And if this bill fails, home births will be less safe and unregulated in the state,” Lehe said.
His bill removes the collaborative agreement requirement. Instead, it requires midwife clients to see a doctor at least twice during the pregnancy, or sign a form indicating they refuse to do so.
Senate Health Committee Chair Pat Miller says she hasn’t read Lehe’s bill yet, but notes that the collaborative agreements were a key part in helping get the 2013 bill through the Senate.