Midwifery Battle Continues
The new debate now centers on whether the amendment itself was legal. The case will question the way midwifery was legalized. The Missouri State Medical Association and three other medical groups will file a case against just one line of the bill. Megan Fox, who gave birth to her daughter seven months ago, chose to do so in her home with a midwife.
"I wanted to be in a setting where only people who love and support me would be there," Fox said.
The Missouri State Medical Association plans to challenge the midwifery bill on three constitutional grounds. First, MSMA says the bill, titled "relating to health insurance," did not meet the requirement of a clear, inclusive title. Secondly, MSMA says the bill did not address one subject, as required by law. Finally, MSMA says the amendment violates a constitutional requirement that a bill amendment not change the original purpose of a bill. The MSMA says Senator John Loudon snuck the amendment in.
"Senator Loudon managed to slip this one not only past us, but past the rest of his colleagues," said Jeff Howell, MSHA Director of Legal Affairs.
Dr. Elizabeth Allemann spent the last 20 years fighting for the legalization of midwifery. She is the medical director of the Columbia Birth Center. She says Loudon was simply working towards a goal he believed in.
"Senator Loudon had very limited options. He's very passionate about this issue, as are many of us. So he used an available legislative option to overcome Senator Graham's filibuster," said Allemann.
If the lawsuit is successful, it would separate the line concerning midwifery from the rest of the bill.