Monday, February 27, 2017

Yen's midwifery bills: one defeated, one shelved

I wrote last month about legislation filed by State Sen. Ervin Yen (R-OKC) that would severely restrict and regulate midwifery in Oklahoma. Today was the deadline for both bills to be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services committee in order to be advanced this session.

Sen. Yen opted to not hear SB714 this session, planning to work on the measure during the interim. This bill would have effectively stopped the vast majority of Oklahoma midwives from being able to practice. Yen intends to pursue some sort of licensing/certification regulation next year.

SB747, which was amended to prohibit Certified Nurse-Midwives from performing vaginal-births-after-caesarian (VBACs), breech births, or delivery of multiple infants (i.e. twins, triplets, etc) outside of hospitals, failed by a vote of 5 to 6. This measure is now dead until the 2018 session.

Voting in favor of SB747 were Sens. Darcy Jech (R-Kingfisher), Greg McCortney (R-Ada), Dave Rader (R-Tulsa), Rob Standridge (R-Norman), and Ervin Yen (R-OKC).

Voting against SB747 were Sens. Kay Floyd (D-OKC), A.J. Griffin (R-Guthrie), Anastasia Pittman (D-OKC), Adam Pugh (R-Edmond), Joseph Silk (R-Broken Bow), and Frank Simpson (R-Springer). Silk was the most outspoken against the measure, and was the only member to debate against.


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