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Lobby Day Talking Points

ACNM’s Virtual Lobby Day

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Education is the Goal:

ACNM needs your assistance to educate Members of Congress and their staff in order to:

1) renew focus on maternal health service delivery, and

2) ensure women’s access to vital health care services through essential federal programs.

Background:

ACNM, midwives and midwife supporters implore Congress to support maternal health policy that improves maternal health outcomes. Legislation was introduced in 2010 (click here for more information) that ACNM believes will be a step forward for evidence-based maternal health practice and is working to reintroduce this legislation in April. Your calls are critical to place this issue in the minds of legislators and their staff.

Additionally, ACNM is concerned by proposals in Congress to make dramatic cuts to vital federal health programs that provide services for women. ACNM has opposed cuts to Title X of the Public Health Service Act, which provides food to needy pregnant women, mothers and their children through Women, Infants and Children (WIC), family planning services to low-income women, and Maternal and Child Health Block grants. Your call will remind legislators and their staff of the importance of these services and programs.

Talking Points for Your Call to Your Senators and Representative

• My name is _________ and I am a certified nurse-midwife (CNM)/certified midwife (CM)/student/supporter living in / practicing at ___________, and I’d like to speak with the legislator or a staffer about woman’s health care issues.

• My call today is to urge you to support evidence-based maternal health during this Congress and support federal legislation to be reintroduced soon by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) (introduced as HR 5807 in 2010) to promote evidence-based maternal health delivery in the United States.

• As you work to address the annual budget deficit this Congress, please ensure women maintain access to the vital health care services they require, including family planning services.

• Reducing the rate of invasive maternity practices (such as cesarean births) will improve women’s health outcomes and reduce overall maternal health costs.

• Midwives care for women throughout the lifespan, provide care in all practice settings, and have lower overall rates of maternity interventions including cesarean births.

These are optional; include as many or as few of these as you wish.

• Today the United States spends more than double per capita on health care than other industrialized countries, but ranks far behind almost all developed countries in important perinatal and maternal outcomes.

• The United States ranks higher than 49 other nations on rates of maternal deaths. It ranks higher than 33 nations on neonatal mortality rates.

• The national rate of pre-term birth and low birth weight babies has increased dramatically in the last quarter century.

• Maternity care for mothers and their newborns is the number one reason for hospitalization in the United States and in 2008 accounted for $98 billion in hospital charges. In 2008, $41 billion was spent under Medicaid for birthing women and newborns.

• Maternity care facility charges vary significantly by setting and type of birth. In 2008, the average charge for a hospital cesarean birth was twice the charge for the average charge for a hospital vaginal birth, and ten times average charge for a vaginal birth in a free-standing birth center.

• Finally, as you work to address the annual budget deficit this Congress, please remember that all women deserve unfettered access to vital health care services.

• Ask for the legislator or staffer’s email address and offer to send documents (see below) supporting midwifery practice and improved outcomes.

• Offer to be a resource should they have future questions related to Maternal Health and answer any questions about the role of midwives.

• If there are questions that you are unable to answer, not to worry. Let us know by clicking on the feedback form so that we can follow-up with the office, or you can contact Patrick Cooney, ACNM’s Federal Representative at (202) 347-0034 or email him at [email protected]

Supporting Documents




American College of Nurse-Midwives.
8403 Colesville Rd, Suite 1550 | Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 240-485-1800 | Fax: 240-485-1818
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