The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Politics

June 5, 2013

New law legalizes midwifery in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — A new law that legalizes midwifery in Indiana has been a long time coming for women like Mary Ann Griffin, a certified professional midwife and longtime advocate of home births.

Her first trip to the Indiana Statehouse to lobby legislators to repeal an old state law that made her work a felony crime came the same year she gave birth to twins.

“They’re seniors in high school now,” said Griffin. “That’s how long it’s taken us to get here.”

On Tuesday, Griffin was at the Statehouse again, this time to join Gov. Mike Pence in a ceremonial signing of House Enrolled Act 1135. It’s the new law that, when it goes into effect July 1, will make Indiana the 28th state in the nation to legalize and regulate midwives who attend at-home births.

“It’s a huge step forward for families in Indiana who choose home births and for the midwives who provide those services,” said Griffin, now president of the Indiana Midwives Association. “It increases accountability and transparency for our profession and increases access to the medical community when needed.”

Up until now, it’s been illegal for midwives to be involved in home births in Indiana unless they were certified nurse-midwives licensed by the state. But most of those certified nurse-midwives work exclusively with hospitals or obstetric practices and attend few home births.

House Enrolled Act 1135 creates a mechanism for the state to now recognize an additional group of midwives who routinely attend home births and who’ve been certified by a national midwifery organization recognized by other states.

Supporters of the new law say it recognizes the reality of home births in Indiana and sets new safety standards for a practice that’s been going on, outside the law, for years.

About 1,000 women give birth at home each year in Indiana, according to state health officials and others who testified on the bill. Some of the strongest support came from the Amish communities in Indiana, who for religious reasons, shun hospital births.

Text Only
Local Politics
  • NWS - HB0417 - election forum - 15 Candidates meet in Alexandria

    Several Madison County candidates running for a variety of offices met at Alexandria-Monroe High School Wednesday night to introduce themselves to voters and talk about some issues.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Leaders await decision on Indiana Plan expansion

    Two of the state's top Republican lawmakers said Tuesday that they would like to see the federal government sign off on an expansion of Medicaid through the state's health care plan for low-income residents, but they added that they have little idea how soon that could happen.

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioners vote to eliminate Personnel Board Madison County commissioners have decided to end the county’s Personnel Board.

    April 15, 2014

  • Primary voting starts at courthouse Through the first week of early voting for the May 6 primary, the Madison County Voter Registration office has been less than overwhelmed.

    April 15, 2014

  • Hayden, Maureen mug Maureen Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ken de la Bastide: Local Dems want to change redistricting process There is an old saying that goes "to the victor goes the spoils." In politics the spoils usually involves the drawing of legislative districts for the Indiana General Assembly and the seats in the U.S. House.

    April 12, 2014

  • NWS - HB0409 - Cleanup - JC 3-file City of Anderson won't participate in annual cleanup For the first time in 29 years, there will be no citywide cleanup this year, because of expenses incurred by the City of Anderson this past winter.

    April 9, 2014 3 Photos

  • Local lawmakers bemoan no local road funding Despite efforts by three Madison County lawmakers, the Indiana General Assembly didn’t provide funding for the improvement of local roads.

    April 7, 2014

  • AP907524370424.jpg U.S. attorney battles public corruption

    U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett has raised his profile by ramping up prosecutions of gang members and corrupt politicians, arguing that both undermine the public’s sense of safety, since he became top federal prosecutor in a district that covers two-thirds of the state.

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Coats ends up in wrong meeting School kids and business people who start with a new company often worry about showing up in the wrong classroom or meeting. It can happen to a veteran U.S. senator, too.

    April 4, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide