SB 1237

Senate Bill 1237: Removal of Physician Supervision from Certified Nurse-Midwivery Practice in CA

Letter of Support: Organizations



CNM Research for SB1237

Letter of Support: CNM

Letter of Support:

RN/professional colleagues/clients

Letter of Support:


Letter of Support:

MD Email Template

We are excited to announce that the CNMA will be sponsoring SB 1237 to remove physician supervision from the practice of nurse-midwifery in California. Black Women for Wellness Action Project will be co-sponsoring this bill. The bill is authored by Senator Bill Dodd, with principal co-author Assembly Member Autumn Burke.

California is 1 of 4 states that still requires physician permission to practice, which impacts midwives’ ability to practice in parts of our state where women and birthing people need greater access. Nine California counties have NO practicing obstetrician, and many more counties are well below the national average for obstetricians per capita. This obstetrician shortage is projected to be a critical shortage by 2025, particularly affecting Sacramento, Riverside, and Los Angeles counties. Rural areas are already significantly affected. Worse yet, the maternal mortality rate for Black women in California is 3-4 times higher than white women. Babies born to Black women were more than three times as likely to die of a preterm birth-related issue as babies born to white women in 2017.

Racial disparities in maternal outcomes and the access gap for many Californians is a complex problem requiring multiple, innovative strategies in order to turn the tide. Greater access to nurse-midwifery care has been named by leading organizations as one of these innovative strategies.

National and international studies show that wherever midwifery is successfully scaled up and integrated into the overall health system, the well-being of birthing people and babies is significantly improved, including decreasing the rates of:

  • cesarean (lowering C/S rates in California alone could save $80-440 million per year, not to mention saving lives and decreasing 'near misses')

  • stillbirth and maternal mortality

  • severe perineal trauma (birth trauma)

  • severe blood loss

  • preterm births

  • newborns with low birthweight

  • newborn admissions to neonatal intensive care units

States that have removed physician permission to practice, allowing for autonomous nurse-midwifery practice to expand in their state, also have a greater proportion of rural hospitals with midwives attending births.

Join us in support of SB 1237 as it moves through the legislature and to the Governor’s desk.

We will provide more information in the coming weeks with ways that you can assist our efforts.

Please share this video, produced and sponsored by CNMA


@Aimée Tom Eva Goodfriend-Reaño Paris Maloof-Bury @kavitanoble @jasdanielle

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