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CNMA Newsletter: March 2022

Updated: Mar 1

Welcome to Women's History Month!

As we work toward making midwifery care more accessible, we are reminded of the words “with woman,” and that is especially true this month.

As our Board of Directors has been working on our strategic plan, we’ve revised our Mission Statement, created a Vision Statement, and identified our Core Values as an organization. It was important to us that these foundational documents be inclusive and reflect both who we are and who we aspire to be.

CNMA Mission Statement: With Midwives. With Communities.

CNMA Vision Statement: An equitable California where all people have access to safe, evidence-based, trauma-informed reproductive healthcare through the advancement of the midwifery profession by:

  • Promoting respectful healthcare that improves the health and well-being of individuals, mothers and birthing people, newborns, and families

  • Eradicating health disparities by challenging the practices, behaviors, and in actions that further perpetuate them

  • Practicing cultural humility

  • Acknowledging the history of white supremacy in midwifery and healthcare and its continued negative impacts by condemning racism and promoting equity

  • Creating a diverse midwifery workforce that meets the needs of the community with racial, ethnic, and linguistic concordance

  • Remaining accountable to each other, to midwives, and to the people for whom we advocate, educate, and care

CNMA Values: Equity, Community, Diversity, Accountability, Respect, Evidence-Based Practice, and Service.

In California, we’re making history as we work to re-diversify our workforce and create inclusive spaces through clinical and advocacy work. We’ve got a long way to go, but I’m proud of how far we’ve come and can’t wait to see what we do next!

As always, I’m available by email at parisbury@gmail.com and by text at (805) 415-2553.

In the spirit of service,

Paris Maloof-Bury, CNM, IBCLC

President, California Nurse-Midwives Association


California Health Policy

CNMA’s Health Policy Priorities

  1. Reversing the 10% Medi-Cal rate reduction (put into place in 2011) for birth centers and midwifery care (other practitioners were also affected): We continue to work through the budget process on getting this rate reduction reversed. We have formed a coalition with others affected by this (audiologists, non-emergency medical transportation providers, and more), and we are optimistic that we will see a reversal of this rate reduction in this year's final Budget Act (June 2022).

  2. Funding the Midwifery Workforce Training Act enacted last year through SB 65: We met recently with top officials at Cal HHS and they are highly supportive of funding the MWTA. A lot can change between now and the final budget, so we will continue to meet with them and the workforce workgroup at HCAI (previously OSHPD), as well as rally the support of our SB 65 coalition partners, to ensure the MWTA is in fact a specific line item in the final budget. Additionally, we are sponsoring a bill (see below) that would allow midwifery programs to apply for and receive funding through Song Brown, something we have not been eligible for in the past even though primary care physician training programs, NP, PA, and RN programs have been eligible. We hope this will allow for midwifery programs to continue to apply for midwifery education funding in the future, well beyond the lifespan of the MWTA.

  3. Funding the community birth data collection from SB 1237: CNMA submitted a stakeholder proposal to the Senate Budget Subcommittee responsible for hearing such requests. We hope the momentum around midwifery and doula care in this year's budget will help to propel this forward as well.

Midwifery, Doula, and Nurse Practitioner Bills in the Legislature

AB 2529 (Davis/Calderon): We are sponsoring this bill! If enacted, this bill will allow midwifery programs to apply for and receive funding through the Song Brown Act. More on the Song Brown Act here. Currently the language of the bill is very basic, and will soon be amended to reflect how we envision midwives fitting into this program.

SB 1375 (Atkins): This bill would allow NPs who have completed the transition to practice requirements required for independent practice (in AB 890, passed in 2020) to perform aspiration abortion without Standardized Procedures. This would bring the abortion requirements for NPs in alignment with their current law for independent practice and would be a huge advancement for reproductive health care by NPs in California.

AB 1767 (Boerner Horvath): This bill would create a stand alone Licensed Midwifery Board for LMs in California (currently they are licensed and regulated by the Medical Board of California). This concept is in alignment with US MERA and ICM standards.

CNMA Annual Advocacy Day and Reproductive Freedom Week

SAVE THE DATE! CNMA Annual Advocacy Day to Join Forces with CCRF's Reproductive Freedom Week (April 11-15)

This year, instead of our annual lobby day, we are encouraging all midwives to flex our lobbying muscles by joining in the California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom's (CCRF) annual Reproductive Freedom Week (RFW). RFW is a fun and exciting way to make a difference in shaping policies that impact reproductive health, rights, and justice in California. There will be many virtual lobbying opportunities to fit your schedule. The event is geared toward people who are new to advocacy work, and is an opportunity to build confidence and get comfortable in the lobbying sphere, while making a difference!

For over 10 years, CCRF has hosted Reproductive Freedom Day in Sacramento. In recent years, in order to increase local participation and involve those who cannot make the trip to Sacramento, they decided to shift their advocacy efforts from the Capitol to the districts. Now called "Reproductive Freedom Week," this forum allows people in all regions of California the opportunity to learn about cutting edge policy issues in the reproductive health, rights, and justice movement, and experience advocacy first hand.

CNMA has been actively involved in RFW for many years now. Participating in reproductive freedom week is so impactful. The intimate forum provides the opportunity to help our legislators and our allies to more deeply understand the midwife role. It is also a powerful opportunity to advocate for important structural changes to help benefit the people we serve and our profession. We are often the only clinicians in the lobbying space and our anecdotes and insight can be very powerful!

Mark your calendar for this year's virtual RFW, April 11-15!

CNMA will host a short advocacy webinar a few weeks before RFW, including a lobbying & policy update, as well as an orientation on RFW to help everyone get the most out of their experience. Keep an eye out for that training date!