Illinois Families For Midwifery --
Write a Letter to your Lawmakers about Midwives
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With our bill passing out of the Licensed Activiities Committee on March 14, 2006, and onto the Senate floor, it's critical that you contact your State Senator right now! It might seem a little scary to talk with your state legislators about midwives if you've never done it, but your state lawmakers want to hear from you! They are usually quite nice. Do not let inexperience keep you from talking with them.

It is easy to write your state lawmakers. Please contact your State Senators first and then your State Rep. Follow these three simple steps.

1) Find out who your state senator and state representative are. Visit the State's Find your Legislators page (works best with your zip+4 code) or call IFFM at (309) 722-3345 or (773) 278-8625 for help.

2) Write a short letter asking them to support SB385. In your letter, briefly cover the following topics:
  • a short introduction about your connection to the community (district) and why home birth is important to you (more more than a few sentence; be concise),
  • currently there is a full-blown home birth crisis in Illinois as licensed providers are based in only 4 of 102 Illinois counties (and all North of I-80),
  • the solution to the Illinois home birth crisis is to license certified professional midwives,
  • ask your state senator to co-sponsor SB385, the Midwifery Licensure Act. Then, ask your state representative to keep and eye out for SB385 when it gets passed out of the senate and goes over to the house and to co-sponsor SB385 in the house.
3) Call or email IFFM to let us know what happened!! This is as important as contacting your lawmakers. We need to know that you met with them and what they say, so we can follow up. You can reach IFFM at one of the following phone numbers ... (309) 722-3345 (ask for Pat) or (773) 278-8625 (ask for Colette).

A few "don'ts" when writing your state lawmakers....
DO NOT argue safety (it only makes most people defensive), and legislators are people too.
DO NOT say "as a taxpayer" or remind them that they work for you (they already know this).
DO NOT send a long letter about why home birth is good, safe or the cat's meow. (They don't have to "believe" in home birth to support it; they need to hear from you!)

We will have sample letters up soon! Check back mid-February for a sample letter.

If you have an opportunity to discuss it further or want some wording ideas to put in your letter, visit our Talking Points Page for examples that have worked well for others!

If you happen to talk to your legislator and get asked a tough question or do not feel comfortable with further discsussion, you can let him/her know that you are not an expert. You can say something like “I’m not a Coalition leader, but I live in your district and a CPM bill is important to me. This is a complicated issue that everyone has questions about. I would like to have a leader from the Coalition for Illinois Midwifery contact you.”

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General notes on contacting lawmakers

It is most effective to meet in person with your state lawmakers. If that is not possible, the next most effective contact is a personally written SHORT letter. Phone calls are less effective than letters but preferable to not making any contact. Not all legislators read email, but some do. You can call their offices and ask if your legislator checks his/her email regularly.

If you are able to meet with your state legislators, you might go with a friend or fellow home birth parent for moral support, especially if they live in your district. Sometimes a Coalition leader can go with you, as well. (Call or email IFFM to ask if this is possible.)

No matter how you choose to contact your state legislators, please choose one (or more) and let them know that you want them to support Certified Professional Midwives for home birth in Illinois!

Was this page helpful? Let us know if you still have questions, so we can help you and improve this page for others!

It only takes total of a couple of hours to call and meet with your legislators.
This can help our midwives more than just about anything else!

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