Senate Committee Kills Midwife Bill
By Jenifer Jones
A bill that allows for the practice and regulation of registered midwives has died in committee. The bill had passed the House, but the Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted five to two to defer the measure to the 41st legislative day. Proponents say the bill requires midwives receive extensive training. They say the bill gives South Dakota families more choices. The Department of Health opposes the measure. Secretary Doneen Hollingsworth says House Bill 1061 sets up an inadequate regulatory structure. She also says home births are too risky.
"It should not be the policy of the state of South Dakota to legitimize a practice that does not ensure all safeguards are in place to protect the health and safety of South Dakota mothers and babies," Hollingsworth says. "House bill 1061 does not protect mothers and babies. Instead it helps to protect unqualified and unlicensed providers."
Hollingsworth says the bill would cost about $61,000 to implement. The committee passed an amendment adding that cost to the bill, which proponents of the bill say was just an excuse for opponents to kill the measure.
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