The Missouri State Supreme Court has issued a ruling on the legalization of professional midwifery in Missouri – a ruling that, in effect, legalizes the practice.
It was a 5-2 ruling on SC88783 – a challenge to House Bill 818 from 2007 . That bill, which dealt with health insurance, was expanded to include legalization of midwifery.The bill, though passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Matt Blunt (R-MO), was challenged as a violation of the Hammerschmidt rule – a constitutional requirement that any provision of any bill must relate to the original purpose and title of that bill.
That challenge, which was successful in Cole County Circuit Court, came from the Missouri State Medical Association. Friends of Missouri Midwives appealed to the State Supreme Court, which has ruled the State Medical Association did not have standing to bring the case in the first place. So, the challenge is rejected.
Mary Ueland with Friends of Missouri Midwives, which challenged the lower court ruling, says this ruling is an unexpected pleasant surprise. Ueland acknowledges it is a technicality that led to the ruling, but says all that matters is the end result – that Certified Professional Midwives will be allowed to practice in Missouri.