The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 22, 2012

Midwives march for legal at-home births in Ala.

— HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Mothers and midwives are asking Alabama officials to legalize at-home births when they are attended by certified midwives.

The Alabama Birth Coalition held a march this weekend in Huntsville to raise awareness about the issue.

Coalition President Hannah Ellis said state law now allows women to give birth at home. But it makes it illegal for a midwife or other assistant to be present. That law is intended to encourage women to give birth at hospitals.

A bill that would have legalized at-home births with midwives was approved by a legislative committee last year. That the bill did not pass before the legislative session ended.

Ellis said the law contributes to the state's poor infant mortality rate.


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