August is Midwifery Advocacy Month
Congress is out of session in August, which means it’s one of the most important months for CNMs and CMs to think about how we can advance legislation that helps improve maternity outcomes in the United States and opens doors for midwifery. Your voice may be one of many, but it is vitally important. We achieved 100% Medicare reimbursement thanks to the grassroots advocacy of CNMs and CMs just like you!
See video tutorial of a midwife making a sample call to a legislator.
Read and print a sample call script
Don't forget to follow up with an e-mail! (click to download)
10 Ways to Get Involved
The most effective way to participate is to meet face to face with your representative at your practice or their local office, as Congress is in recess for most of August. If you’re short on time, new to politics, or unaware of who your legislator is, fear not: Whatever you can do helps. Here are 10 ways you can get involved this August.
1. Educate yourself about MOMS for the 21st Century Act (MOMS 21)
The “Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services for the 21st Century Act (MOMS 21),” was first introduced in 2011 by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. If passed, this bill will improve maternity outcomes, increase access to care, and curb rising health care costs. Only Representatives can cosponsor MOMS 21 because it's a house bill, but Senators should be aware of the bill and certainly included in advocacy month outreach efforts. The bill has little chance of passing this congress and will need to be reintroduced next year, but each co-sponsor and supporter will help the bill gain momentum.To learn more, visit the ACNM MOMS 21 Web site.
2. Invite members of Congress to your practice
Congress will recess from the first week of August through the first week of September. To find your Representative’s or Senator’s local office, click here and enter your zip code. Here are sample letters you can copy to invite them. During your visit, discuss the women you serve and obstacles to better care, and ask them to co-sponsor or support the MOMS for the 21st Century Act. Take Action!
3. Meet your legislators in their local offices
Click here to find your elected officials and get their contact information. You may borrow some of the language from our sample letters to request a visit, or make a phone call. Take Action!
4. Capture your visit with a photograph
After you meet with your legislator or their staff, sign the photo, and return it as a thank-you gift so your legislator remembers the visit and can display the photo in his or her office.
5. Call, e-mail, or fax a letter to your US Representative and
Find your legislators here. When you call, ask
to speak with the legislative aide who helps with health care and ask them to
support (Senators) and co-sponsor (Representatives) HR 2141 “Maximizing Optimal
Maternity Services for the 21st Century Act (MOMS 21).” Here’s a handy
list of talking points, and we've also provided a call
script. Don't forget to get an e-mail address for follow-up and
future correspondence--click here for a
sample follow up e-mail (click
to download). Consider including some of these supporting documents: Fast Facts about
Evidence-Based Practice, and Midwives as
Primary Care Providers. See our sample
6. Register to vote and ask your clients and friends to do so, too! Go to www.eac.gov for
all the information you need to get started.
7. Hold a fundraiser for your Representative or Senator
2012 elections are coming up and legislators are working on their campaigns! Contact us at email@example.com and we’ll help you get started.
8. Involve the media
Ask people you know if they have media contacts. Send a press release out to local media outlets about your practice’s support for MOMS 21 or an upcoming visit with a legislator, and follow up with a phone call. The Ambassador Toolkit gives some great media tips along with sample press releases to get you started.
9. Don’t sweat the details
Don’t be intimidated—when you talk with your legislators, their health care staff, and the media, discuss the women you serve and obstacles to better care. Should anyone have questions regarding the legislation, they can contact ACNM Federal Lobbyist Patrick Cooney at 202-347-0034 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Take Action!
10. Finally, keep the relationship going!
Once you have established a connection with your legislators or members of Congress, it is vital to maintain it throughout the year with continued communication. Successful advocacy is all about the relationship! Consider e-mailing or calling during National Midwifery Week (October 7-13, 2012) and adding your legislator to your holiday list.
Contact the Government Affairs Committee at email@example.com with any questions or comments and remember to fill out the meeting follow-up form after your visit.