Bring on the Birthing Centers!

Obviously I am passionate about women’s choices in their birthing options and I think this is something that Northern Michigan would benefit greatly from.  Please read the following and hopefully you are in agreement and support the cause.  I would love to have a birthing center in the area to have my children, at this point we only have the option to use a doctor in the hospital or a midwife at home…not a lot of options for those who are intimidated or cautious about a home birth but want a more holistic birth experience than the hospital often offers.  Please let me know your thoughts!

Help make Birth and Women’s Health Centers part of a national solution


The Birth and Women’s Health Center Act

The American Association of Birth Centers has developed new legislation which would make non-profit Birth Centers eligible for a range of federal grants similar to the type of grants made to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).

Proposed Legislation

Under the proposed legislation, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services would make funding available to public and nonprofit entities for the following projects:

  • Planning grants for the development of new Birth and Women’s Health Centers
  • Operating grants including construction grants
  • Grants to support models of care that focus on reducing infant mortality and disparities for women and babies
  • Access grants for clients with limited English speaking proficiency
  • Grants that focus on treating obesity or diabetes
  • Grants that focus on adolescents or on instituting the “centering pregnancy” model of care
  • Grants to utilize or incorporate telehealth applications into services
  • Grants that will allow the center to expand dental health or mental health services for pregnant or postpartum women, or pediatric services for infants and children.



While we have made progress in the last 10 years expanding Birth Centers, much more needs to be done. Our goal should be to make sure that every underserved area in America has a federally funded Birth Center and that midwifery care in a Birth Center is available to communities with poor maternal and infant outcomes.


Bipartisan support is critical to our efforts. We are looking for lead sponsors and co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate.

  1. Call your Representatives and Senators ( U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121).
  2. Ask to speak to  your Senator’s or Representative’s  health legislative aide.
  3. Ask them to sponsor or co-sponsor the Birth and Women’s Health Center Act.
  4. Please let Karen Fennell (AABC’s lobbyist) know of your contacts with legislators.
    Tell her who you talked with and any comments or additional information requested. Call Karen at 301-830-3910; Send email to


Suggested Talking Points

Birth and Women’s Health Centers: Part of a National Solution  

  • Birth Centers increase access to care including rural areas.    
  • Birth Center improve maternal health and infant outcomes for all populations.
  • Birth Centers reduce maternal and infant health disparities.
  • Birth Centers increase breastfeeding rates.    
  • Birth Centers reduce cesarean section rates.
  • Birth Centers provide safe, quality care that costs less – Download the Birth Center Savings chart .


 Help us create a win-win for all: reduced health care spending and healthy mothers and babies.


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