From the February 2010 Idaho Observer:

Mandated licensing of midwives in Idaho begins July 2010; Homebirth proponents seeking amendment

Prior to the Idaho Midwife Licensing Statute, a woman was “free” to birth a child at home. This year it would be a criminal act to birth a child at home without the services of a licensed midwife. (See The I.O., April 2009) As a result of Idaho’s passage of the bill mandating the licensing of all practicing midwives, 22% of midwives in Idaho are no longer practicing, are moving their practice out-of-state, or will end their practice before the law goes into effect July 1, 2010. In addition, 17% of midwives-in-training will not practice in Idaho. Rather than making birthing in Idaho safer and increasing options for parents, the new law will have the opposite effect. Parents who plan on a homebirth will opt to have the birth unattended; travel to an out-of-state midwife during labor; or may hide medical conditions/history which the new law restricts licensed midwives from assisting.

The Sovereign Idaho Coalition, Campaign for Liberty’s Health Freedom Task Force and Preserving Traditional Midwifery in Idaho are among the groups seeking an amendment to eliminate the most egregious section of the new midwifery licensing statute – the section making it a crime to practice midwifery in Idaho without a license. As we go to press, Idaho Representative Pete Nielsen has agreed to introduce the amendment into the House State Affairs Committee in February.

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