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British Columbia hosts 23rd International Midwives Congress and announces legalization of midwifery.

During the 23rd International Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives held May 9-14 in Vancouver, British Colombia, it was announced that the practice of midwifery had just been legalized in that province. The conference was attended by more than 2500 midwives from all over the world. "Midwives--Hear the Heartbeat of the Future" was the theme of the conference, urging midwives to consider how their profession will meet the many challenges and changes in the last decade of the 20th century. Workshops and other presentations were available on diverse topics relating to midwifery practice worldwide.

Business meetings of the ICM were held in the days prior to the conference. Resolutions were passed supporting homebirth, the rights of indigenous women to choose their place of birth and caregivers, the importance of "promoting childbirth practices which enhance the normal physiologic process of birth" and the recognition that "interventions and the application of technology are potentially harmful," and the importance of "partnership with women" in developing the profession.

Midwives' Alliance of North America representative Therese Stallings spoke on behalf of MANA that

1) Primary to MANA is the preservation of the heart and soul and spirit of midwifery.

2) Of major concern is the decriminalization, legal recognition and validation of direct-entry midwifery.

3) Another major concern is the need to re-educate American women to believe in the power of their bodies to give birth naturally apart from medical doctors and institutions.

4) Lastly, MANA is concerned with the development of direct-entry educational programs that meet the needs of women and adult learners, including validating the apprenticeship model.
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Jun 22, 1993
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