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Eye On Boise

It’s a younger place today…

Midwives and home-birth advocates from around the state, many with babies in tow, visited the state Capitol on Monday as Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, unsuccessfully sought to introduce legislation to ease last year's law establishing midwife licensing in Idaho. (Betsy Russell)
Midwives and home-birth advocates from around the state, many with babies in tow, visited the state Capitol on Monday as Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, unsuccessfully sought to introduce legislation to ease last year's law establishing midwife licensing in Idaho. (Betsy Russell)

The average age in the state Capitol seems to have fallen precipitously today, as a result of a number of factors: Several school groups are visiting, including a large group of fifth-graders; and a large contingent of midwives and home-birth advocates, babies in tow, are here from around the state for the Rep. Pete Nielsen's introduction this morning of legislation to ease midwife licensing. The bill, however, was rejected in the House State Affairs Committee.

Here's a news item from the Associated Press about the midwifery vote:  BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Lawmakers refused to reconsider Idaho's 7-month-old midwife licensing law, deciding it was premature to consider unwinding something that took effect less than a year ago. Rep. Pete Nielsen, who voted for mandatory licensing in 2009 when it passed the House 67-0, told the House State Affairs Committee Monday that he now believes requiring midwives to be licensed could infringe on religious rights and raise cost of expectant mothers' care. But a razor-thin, 9-8 majority agreed with Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart, a Boise Democrat who said the law should be allowed run its course before addressing whether changes are necessary. The 2009 licensing law came after hours of hearings over two years on a sensitive issue: Balancing bringing a child into the world according to a woman's wishes and making sure it's done safely.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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