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Education, support and advocacy for birth and wellness choices across Hawai'i

PBC Advocacy Mission and Intention  

We are a community-based non profit organization advocating for birth & wellness choices across Hawai'i. This includes supporting the choices of Birthing People to access a full range of reproductive services including the right to choose where and with whom we give birth. 

Access to Midwifery care improves Health Outcomes 

Evidence shows that access to Midwifery care improves health outcomes for all birthing people and their children. This especially true for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color who experience worse health outcomes and have less access to midwifery education and care. 

What's the Problem?

As of July 2023, the State of Hawai'i has mandated midwifery education through programs that are not accessible to Hawai'i residents, meaning that we have no Native Hawaiian Licensed Midwives in the entire state. 

In fact, it's illegal to give advice to a pregnant mother in any capacity that could be interpreted to be within the scope of Midwifery. 

Additionally they have denied access a nationally recognized Apprenticeship Training Pathway which would help local women to become midwives and access midwives in their own communities.   

What's at stake?

Reducing access and increasing barriers to community based maternity care greatly increases risk of harm to mothers and babies in our communities. 

What Pacific Birth Collective Supports:  

  • Women and birthing people's right to discern for themselves what care provider is right for them.    
  • A Birth Attendant Licensure Exemption for Hawaii Revised Statue - HRS 457-J to protect this right. 
  • Instatement of the CPM apprenticeship model as a pathway to Hawai'i midwifery licensure for practitioners to train and become licensed midwives in their own communities.  
  • Expanded access to diverse midwifery practitioners.
  • Expanded collaboration between medical organizations and diverse independent care providers. 

Hawai'i Legislative Action:

Are you a doula, lactation consultant, community healthworker, childbirth class instructor, or other affected professional?

If so, you may be practicing in violation of HRS 457J unless you are some kind of LICENSED professional (i.e. a midwife, naturopath, nurse, etc.). This law was intended to only impact midwives, but the language was overly broad. The legislature promised to come back and fix it in a few years, but hasn't yet - resulting in a severe lack of access to all kinds of birth care providers, especially in rural communities.

Stay tuned for Community Advocacy Events!

  • No upcoming events

Track the Bills:  

If you haven't already - register to track bills and be prepared to submit testimony at the Hawaii State Legislature. 

Currently no more active Bills for the 2024 session.  Stay tuned for Community Outreach sessions over the coming months! 

SB2969 and HB2649 "Relating to Access to Reproductive Care"

Sample Testimony

To Hawai'i 2024 Legislators,

I am _________________.  I support SB2969 and HB2649,  "Relating to Access to Reproductive Care".  (This is important to me because ____________. )

Access to Midwifery care improves health outcomes and safety for all Birthing people and their children.  I support continuation of the Birth Attendant exemption and the addition of the Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP), certified by the National Association of Registered Midwives (NARM)  to be included in HRS 457-J as written in SB2969 and HB2649

These exemptions allow for the profession of Midwifery to continue to grow in equitable ways, allowing accessibility, diversity, cultural and religious freedom for Hawai’i.

After July 2023 the temporary exemption expired, criminalizing Midwifery practitioners who are filling a vital need in our communities. I support the sovereignty of Midwifery to continue through traditional apprenticeship pathways in Hawai'i.

The perpetuation of community-based apprenticeship for the training of Midwives is essential for safety and equitable access to Midwifery care for all people, especially Black, Indigenous and Women of Color families today and for future generations. 

Please Support Birth Attendant Exemption and the Portfolio Evaluation Process (PEP) for Hawai'i.  Support maintaining active pathways for the perpetuation of traditional practices of health and healing in our communities. 

Documents of Community Wide Support:

Statements of Support for Amendments to Act 32 from Maui County Committee on the Status of Women

2021 and 2024 

Maui County CouncilResolution 23-28

Hawaiʻi County Council: Resolution 57-23
Kauai'i County Council: Resolution 2023-31

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Resource Guide:

Current Hawai'i Midwifery Law:
Support for more diversity, equity and inclusion in the current Statue (Hawaii Midwifery Law)

     Further info on Community Action: 

    Hawai'i Home Birth Collective

    New to Midwifery? Learn the basics

    Global Concern:  

    Hear it on NPR

    National Support for Midwifery Care: 

    Education, Support, and Advocacy for Birth and Wellness Choices Across Hawai'i

    The information on this web site, including text, graphics, images and information, is for general information purposes only. Pacific Birth Collective makes no representation and assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of information contained on or available through this web site, and such information is subject to change without notice. You are encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and carefully review all information regarding any care provider, service or treatment.
    Pacific Birth Collective does not recommend, endorse or make any representation about the efficacy, appropriateness or suitability of any  services, opinions, care providers or other information that may be contained on or available through this web site. Pacific Birth Collective is not responsible nor liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that obtain through this website.
    Updated 9-1-22

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