Hawaii bill reveals rift between midwife practitioner groups

HONOLULU — Legislation to regulate midwives in Hawaii has highlighted a divide among advocates of home births.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday that a state Senate bill approved Friday by the Legislature and moved to the governor will license midwives and make it illegal for cultural and traditional practitioners to provide midwifery services after 2023.

The president of the Midwives Alliance of Hawaii says some midwives with professional certification do not view cultural and traditional practitioners as their peers because many are self-trained and have not completed any formal education or apprenticeships.

Cultural practitioners say that even though they did not undergo Western training, women should be able to choose the circumstances of their children’s births.

Advocates say the situation is made more difficult because there are no midwifery schools in Hawaii.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com


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