Last year the Idaho Legislature passed a mandatory midwifery licensure law that has put at least 22% of traditional midwives out of work and has left many mothers and their babies without midwifery services for their home births. Pocatello has lost its only traditional midwife because of this law.
Representative Pete Nielsen introduced legislation in the House State Affairs Committee on Monday, Feb. 21st, that would restore to the families of Idaho freedom of choice for their home births by allowing traditional midwives to provide their low-cost services the way they always have without state interference. Over 50 parents (with children in tow) came from around the state and packed the committee room.
Pocatello Representative Elaine Smith, who sits on the State Affairs Committee, voted against the legislation - denying women the right to choose who can help them with a home birth.
The legislation died in committee by one vote.
It's a double standard to say it's a woman's right to choose to abort her baby, but women don't have the right to choose who can help deliver their baby at home.
In the last three years, Rep. Smith has voted against:
S1082: requiring parental consent for an abortion
H0654: making it illegal to coerce a women to have an abortion
H0559: requiring abortionists to provide informed consent material
H0248: requiring abortionists to tell mothers they have the right to view an ultrasound prior to an abortion
It's disgusting that Rep. Smith always votes against the right to life while also voting to strip mothers of their unalienable right to bring new life into the world in the safest way possible for their unique circumstance.