From the April 2009 Idaho Observer:

Three kinds of midwives and the perfect political storm for state control of birthing (its?) children

James Stivers is the father of six home-birthed, Midwife-delivered healthy babies. In organizing a group to oppose the nightmarish midwifery bill just passed in Idaho (and soon coming to a state near you), he described the three types of midwives, their respective clienteles and, hence, the political climate wherein organized medicine could infiltrate home birthing to get such a horrible law passed.

By James Stivers

There are basically three kinds of midwives: the establishment midwife, the community midwife, and the lay midwife. The establishment midwife is a member of the medical profession who has taken up midwifery as part of her/his practice as a nurse. They will attend home births but they are very committed to conventional medical practices. Historically, these women emerged from the radicalism of the 1960s. Politically, they are usually very liberal, very committed bureaucrats, and probably voted for Obama. They are firm believers in the state and push for state solutions to social problems.

Community midwives are usually women who are motivated by religious zeal for their profession. They are often affiliated with a conservative church or spiritual community that emphasizes family values. They are trying to make a living as midwives and have some kind of formal training and private certification, but they are torn on the question of state licensing. On the one hand, they value accountability, yet on the other hand, they worry that any state board of midwives will impose unacceptable requirements on their profession.

The lay midwife is often a community midwife but she is opposed to state involvement in her profession. Itís a womenís issue. She firmly believes the mother must be in charge of the birthing process. She usually does not have as much formal training as establishment or community midwives, but rather believes in the safety of birthing if natural instincts are developed and obeyed. She may or may not be affiliated with any spiritual community, but she has a sense of the sacredness of birth. She is not a "career" midwife trying to get rich, but she is dependent upon the income from the handful of births she attends. Like the old-time family doctor, she will perform her services for barter and sometimes for free. She is the kind of midwife called upon by people who are trying to live their lives "outside of the system."

It is this lay midwife who will suffer the most from this new law. Community midwives, because they service a larger constituency, will probably find it too easy to qualify for licensing to quarrel with it, even though they may do so with a guilty conscience. They will be deceived by the grandfather clause, an effective Fabian tactic that has convinced many freedom-lovers before them to take their draught of hemlock.

Lay midwives, however, will find it difficult to qualify for various reasons: Their clients may not want to be documented, they may not do enough births each year to qualify or to afford a license, or they may be conscientious objectors to the new regime. In any case, there is trouble ahead.

I belong to a spiritual community that is concerned about the prospects of world government. We take to heart doctrines found in the Bible which warn against Moloch religion (statism), the "mark of the Beast," and the rise of the antichrist. For that reason, some of these people avoid contact with the government as much as possible. They are tradesmen, mechanics, and small farmers who try to live on cash, not credit. They home school their children, donít get them social security numbers, and sometimes refuse to apply for birth certificates.

Many of them are not registered to vote, a few donít even have driverís licenses and many of them are fearful or even hostile to government intrusion. They opposed Real ID and they will look upon this midwifery law as its equivalent because many of these people rely upon lay midwives to protect their children from state documentation. We donít know how many of these people there are because they wonít answer the census. Without birth certificates, social security numbers or census data, there could be thousands of them in Idaho. We just donít know. Some of them practice unassisted birthing.

Hospital births result in an automatic birth certificate, social security number for the infant, and now genetic data collection. The RFID chip will not be far behind. These people fear that the licensed midwife will be required to secretly follow hospital protocol. I havenít even mentioned the distrust of vaccination programs. That is why there will be a demand for the unlicensed midwife.

Stivers is spearheading a new organization in Idaho seeking to protect birthing options for people who want to home birth with the assistance of an "unlicensed" lay midwife. He is hoping people will come forward who are willing to be charter members, to serve on the board and to support midwives who are now facing new legal challenges because of HB185. People need to be united in Idaho to overturn this unconstitutional law requiring licensing of midwives. If interested, call Stivers at (208) 274-2241 or email him at