Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I'm so behind, I'll never catch up

Here are a couple things on the radar today:

The Australian parliament is debating whether breastfeeding legislators should be given a proxy vote - that is, to have their vote recorded while they are out of the chamber:

The issue of breastfeeding in Parliament made headlines in 2003 when Victorian Labor MP Kirstie Marshall was thrown out of State Parliament for breastfeeding.

Committee members said the debate had resurfaced in light of an increasing number of new mums in the House of Representatives in the past decade.

The committee found only 10 female MPs had given birth while in office - out of a total of about 130 female MPs.

"Women have faced the difficult choice between prioritising their duties as a member with those of being a mother," members said.

Pennsylvania's governor signed that state's breastfeeding legislation. Although breastfeeding advocates would have preferred a stronger bill, it's better than nothing.

A Missouri judge has issued a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of HB 818 which decriminalizes direct-entry midwifery. This bill has caused a lot of controversy. Apparently, it's a circus over there in the Missouri legislature:

A senator secretly attached the provision to a bill intended to make health insurance more accessible to some Missourians. Gov. Matt Blunt signed the bill into law.

Several physician groups sued last Thursday, claiming the midwife language violates the Missouri Constitution by going beyond the bill’s health insurance title and by changing the bill’s original purpose.

The recently passed legislation says that regardless of the current felony statute, anyone with a “tocological certification” — meaning in obstetrics — from a privately accredited group can provide services related to pregnancy.

The title of the bill that passed described it as “relating to health insurance.”


Alabama has voted down its midwifery bill. Try again next year?

Nancy Ver Steegh of The Family Law Prof Blog reports Problems at Center Where Mothers Serve Prison Terms With Young Children:

"The authorities in California are investigating accusations that poor health care at a center where mothers serve prison terms with their young children led to the stillbirth of a 7-month-old fetus and endangered the lives of several children.

Staff logs, statements by prisoners and interviews with investigators, staff members and prisoners’ families depict a facility where inmates and their children were denied hospital visits and medications, and where no one kept adequate records of accidents involving injuries that included a skull fracture and a broken collarbone."

Giving Birth With Confidence links childbirth issues to a recently-released government list of hospitals where heart patients are most likely to die in Out of the Dark: Transparency and Birth:
Transparency is suddenly a big deal. This government report follows on the heels of efforts in New York City, and communities across the country, to improve the level of transparency related to childbirth. Giving birth in the dark is an apt metaphor for the current state that women find themselves in when attempting to access information about maternity care. The recent NYC public advocates’ report identified that city hospitals although legally mandated to do so, are still failing to provide maternity information. Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum is working tirelessly to insure that hospitals do what they are legally mandated to do…including reporting induction and cesarean rates.
Better get this posted before I get distracted by something else...

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