COLUMBIA – South Carolina Licensed Midwives and their supporters will rally at the South Carolina State House 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16 to demand equal access to hospitals and higher level care for their mother and baby patients. The public is invited to attend and show support for midwives, equal access to hospital admittance and free choice of a woman’s birthing options.
A current Department of Health and Environmental Control regulation specifically denies midwives’ and birthing center patients from equal access to perinatal care and level II hospitals from accepting “outborn” babies –babies that are born anywhere other than in a hospital. DHEC resolution 61 16 lists every other maternity care provider in the state of South Carolina, including prison infirmaries, except for midwives and birth centers. This could lead to life or death situations in an emergency for either mothers or their newborn babies.
Various midwifery groups including the Midwifery Advisory Council, Palmetto Association of Licensed Midwives, and the South Carolina chapter of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives approached DHEC about the oversight at a Nov. 12 MAC meeting, but DHEC has not yet agreed to make the necessary changes to protect mothers and babies. Therefore, these three midwife organizations along with many of their supporters, current and past patients and babies they have helped birth are set to rally on Jan. 16 to raise awareness of this issue.
Furthermore, DHEC has announced plans on introducing a new regulation this year, which have historically tried to limit or even eliminate the ability of midwives to safely do their jobs serving mothers and babies in South Carolina.
For more information, contact Lori Heffner Gibson at 704-607-6776
[email protected], Lisa Byrd of Columbia at 803-917-1517
[email protected] or Jami Morris, president of Palmetto Association
of Licensed Midwives at 803-920-1014 jmo[email protected].
For more information about the regulation and the Nov. 12 meeting, visit
For more information about the importance of coordination of care, visit