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Huge Victory on the House Floor!

Families across South Dakota are rejoicing that the South Dakota House of Representatives passed SB136, to license and regulate Certified Professional Midwives, with a vote of 52-16.  The next step in the process is that the bill will be sent to the Governor where we are very hopeful that he will sign it into law.  This would make South Dakota the 32nd state to authorize the practice of Certified Professional Midwives.

We hope to have a meeting with the Governor early next week.  We will let you know if he needs to hear from you.  For now, please take some time to send an email to your legislators thanking them for their support or respectfully asking why they opposed. You may also want to send an email to those who spoke on the floor in support: Qualm (prime sponsor), Rhoden, Rozem, Dennert, Heinemann, McCleerey, Frye-Mueller, Goodwin, Greenfield (Lana), Brunner & Haugaard. There were many more who were prepared to speak on our behalf, but the debate had gone on long enough.  The only legislators who spoke against on the floor were: Hunhoff, Rounds and York.
We were expecting a bad amendment to be introduced on the floor, but it was never brought.  We are so incredibly grateful for all your help in getting to this point.  This was truly a team effort with so much help from so many people including some very amazing prayer warriors. We are working on planning a victory party later this spring where we can share with you the back story of all the little miracles that led to this victory.

One amazing "coincidence" is that on March 1st, exactly twenty-five years ago, a little boy was born at home, while his Dad recovered from a serious car accident.  When the mom showed up at the hospital with the perfectly healthy baby (not born at the hospital), the hospital staff started a witch hunt for the midwife.  The persecution of this one midwife eventually led the Department of Health to send out cease and desist letters to anyone they suspected of attending births outside the hospital.  

Now after 25 years of trying many different ways to fix our laws so that South Dakota families can have access to midwives, we finally have gotten to this point.  We still have a long journey ahead of us.  The Governor has 10 days to sign or veto our bill.  He could also let it go into law without his signature (but we have heard that this Governor has never done that).  We are hopeful that the Governor will sign the bill.  The Department of Health and the Governor's office have been neutral, and we have gotten no indication that the Governor wouldn't sign. Our prime sponsor is working to set up a meeting with the Governor early next week, so we can know for sure.  If we need him to receive a flood of letters and emails, we will let you know.  Be ready!

Once signed by the Governor, or a Governor's veto is over ridden by the legislature.  This law will go into effect on July 1st.  Thanks to your generosity, we have $20,000 ready to go into the midwife regulatory account.  At that point the Governor will appoint the 5 member board and the board will get busy writing the rules to regulate licensed certified professional midwives in SD.  That process will include public meetings where all sides will have input.  The rules will eventually have to be approved by the legislative rules committee.  The whole rules process generally takes about a year. Once that process is complete the board can start issuing licenses to qualified certified professional midwives and CPM students. 
These ladies are part of our core group that led the charge to pass SB136. From left to right, Mary Weinheimer (Pierre), Debbie Pease (Centerville), Evie DeWitt (Mitchell), Chandelle Brink (Rapid City area)), Marilyn Hildreth (Brookings) and Nancy Dennert (Aberdeen area). We are so very grateful for everyone who did their part to bring us to this point. God has allowed our families to triumph despite opposition from some of the most powerful lobbies at the Capitol - the doctors and hospitals.  We give him all the glory and rejoice in his blessings!
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