When opportunity knocks … go to the midwifery bill.
The Senate has given first round approval to legislation that would make it easier for midwives to practice in Missouri. It did so when two of the bill’s most vocal opponents – Senator Chuck Graham (D-Columbia) and Senator Yvonne Wilson (D-St. Louis) were out of the chamber. They had blocked an earlier attempt to get the bill approved by filibustering it for hours, preventing a vote.
Senator John Loudon (R-Chesterfield), sponsor of SB 303, saw that as opportunity knocking and asked that debate on an animal identification bill be put aside temporarily so that his bill could be brought up for a vote. In less than a minute the bill was brought up, voted on, and approved on a voice vote.
Missouri’s midwifery law is one of the nation’s most restrictive. In order to practice midwives must be certified nurses working with doctors. Loudon’s bill would ease the restrictions.
The legislation still needs one more positive vote to clear the Senate. Loudon realizes getting approval will not be an easy task, but says he’ll be on the lookout for further opportunities as the legislative session moves into the homestretch. The session comes to a close one month from today.