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Pacific Birth Collective

Island of Maui

Pacific Birth Collective

  Island of Maui

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

Pacific Birth Collective

We are a community-based non profit organization advocating for birth & wellness choices across Hawai'i. 


We believe access to Midwifery care improves health outcomes for all Birthing people and their children. Indigenous, Black and Women of Color have provided and maintained Traditional Midwifery as a practice for centuries. We support continuation of the Birth Attendant exemption in HRS 457-J.

After July 2023 the current exemption is set to expire, criminalizing Midwifery practitioners who are filling a vital need in our communities.  Many Birth Attendants in Hawai’i are cultural practitioners who serve our most rural and under-resourced communities.


Women will choose to birth at home regardless of whether midwifery is legal.  They will sill continue to ask these practioners to attend them even if they are illegal and many women will choose to give birth unassisted if they do not have access to a midwife.  To make birth safer, WE NEED MORE COLLABORATIVE CARE WITH MEDICAL PROVIDERS!  NOT discriminations, cultural erasure and persecution!!!   

Latest UPDATES on 2023 Legislative ACTION: 

In the face of overwhelming support, and after successfully passing through the Hawai'i House of Representatives Committee on Health and the Committee on Consumer ProtectionHB955 - Sovereign's Law was stonewalled by Hawai'i House of Representative's Finance Committee Chair,  Kyle Yamashita who refused to schedule HB955 for a vote.  House Speaker Scott K. Saiki also locked his office and refused to pull HB955, a non-fiscal bill, out of the finance committee for a floor vote.  

Despite peaceful efforts, thousands of testimony, emails and phone calls, these men choose to ignore hundreds of constituents from across the islands who maintained a 74 hour continuous Vigil in front of the Capital Building awaiting the last day in which HB955 could be pulled from the finance committee and brought to a floor vote. 

The vital importance of HB955 represents the safety of women across Hawai'i who rely on these practitioners, the cultural legacy which traditional midwifery carry's in our communities, the livelihood and life's work of these families and practitioners who hold these traditions, and entry into practice for those who are not able to leave Hawai'i to obtain licensure.       

A Lawsuit is in the works!

Donate to the cause ("reproductive choice" in the Comments)


Hawai'i 2023 Legislative Action Initiative

2023 Legislative session opened on January 19th. 

This means that new legislative Bills are being reviewed by  the State House and Senate Committees.

Once scheduled the public is given 24 hours to submit written or verbal testimony.

Despite overwhelming support, HB955  and Companion bill SB1047  were deferred without a vote meaning they will not be moving forward this year.

However, Since these are BIENNIUM Bills (Two-year term of legislative activity), these Bills will pick up where they left off at the Beginning of the next legislative session NEXT JANUARY 2024, after the July 2023 deadline when the current Birth Attendant Exemption is set to expire. 

Follow Hawai'i Home Birth Collective for further info on Action for 2023 

New to Midwifery? Learn the basics and more about the Midwifery legacy here in Hawai'i

Media Coverage: 


Over 1300 public and organizational testimonies

Hawai’i Department of Consumer Affairs, DCCA: verbally testified in support of permanent exemption of Birth Attendants & verbally testified they would enforce regulation of Birth Attendants.

North American Registry of Midwives, NARM: the certifying body for licensed midwives in Hawai'i as defined in HRS457-J

Papa Ola Lokahi, supporting the exemption since no Kupuna Council has yet to be formed in protection of Native Hawaiian Practitioners

Maui County Council, Resolution 23-28

Mayor Bissen, Maui County

Hawaiʻi County Council, Resolution 57-23

Kauai'i County Council, Resolution 2023-31

American College of Nurse-Midwives, ACNM, Hawai’i Chapter

United Nations

National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, NACM

32k + Women and families around the world who have signed our petition!

Statewide Resource Guide:

Sample testimony

To Hawai'i 2023 Legislators,

I am _________________.  I support HB955, Sovereign's Law RELATING TO CHAPTER 457J, HAWAII REVISED STATUTES.  (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 SB1047 and HB955. 

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 is set to expire, 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 Proccess (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:

Protect our midwives

Who not only hold us when we are at the precipice of welcoming new life

Who sway with us as we dance our babies down

Who champion us when we give up hope, not believing in our own power

Who care for us while we heal

Who teach us the ways of caring for new life

Who stay in our hearts forever more as they have witnessed us go to our deepest places and come back stronger than ever with a babe in our arms

Knowing we always had the capacity to do so

Our birth attendants and doulas

Our midwives

Who endlessly trained to hold space in our birth rooms

Are having to stand at our Capital buildings

To chant, protest and demand

That we be heard 

Our rights be protected

Now and for the generations ahead

The women that have witnessed the primal sounds that welcome maiden to mother

Fight for the politicians to hear these same voices

To simply give the time to listen

That our strength and choices be upheld

Our call for accountability be heard

Our midwives who should be resting in our warm homes as we dance through labor

Are sleeping in cities on concrete

Waving signs

Distanced from their families

Threatened by police

Warmed only by the the inner fire of right action

Of knowing our path is true and timeless

That wise women have held families through birth since the beginning

And will until the end

Our midwives have become warriors

In the face of westernized law

Standing shoulder to shoulder

Hand in hand

The last barricade of flesh and spirit in front of the bulldozer of unjust laws

An obstacle created by the ageless wisdom passed down from heart to heart

Teacher to student,

Mother to daughter

Protecting tradition, culture and people

From hands that weren’t given permission to touch our bodies

From laws that weren’t made to hear or protect our voices

From legislators that no longer uphold our values and rights

The hands that have been called forth by ancestors and spirit to welcome in life

Have to be curled into raised fists

As they stand in solidarity

With our rights

Our families

Our choices

The fight continues

It will not be lost.

It is time we support our midwives

We champion them as they have us

We protect them as they have us

We care for them as they have us

Our midwives are fighting for us

We need to fight for them.

The call continues

The need is now.

Written by Mariah Strong,

daughter of Traditional Birth Attendant, Kadi Mourningstar.

One of our treasured Maui elders. 

Ua ola loko i ke aloha

ʻōlelo noʻeau, Mary Kawena Pūkuʻi #2836

love gives life within

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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