The Center for Libertarian Press Information is a collaborative effort of Libertarian Party members to provide the public with timely and accurate information on the Party’s principles, policy positions and activities. Their latest release follows:
The old adage “the operation was a success, but the patient died” is never more true than when government gets into the healthcare business. The restrictions on midwives were and remain an excellent example.
Ever since the first licensing laws were passed well over a century ago, healthcare in America has not been part of a free market. Those laws were passed with pressure from one group of medical professionals to give them protection from competition. The laws had little to do with protecting patients’ health, and nothing to do with protecting their freedom to choose among medical practitioners.
Licensing laws were successful in killing the competition from midwives, but at the same time they harmed new mothers and their babies. Minority communities were especially affected, because they were denied the choice of alternative, less expensive, healthcare providers who were forced from business by the new regulations.
In his book “Born in the USA”, author Marsden Wagner, MD, MS, notes that Scandinavia and the Western Europe countries where midwives handle births have a lower rate of maternal and infant mortality than the more highly-regulated United States.
Washington State Libertarian and former gubernatorial candidate Ruth Bennett notes “Midwifery has started to make a comeback, but many states still restrict certain types of midwives. Women are still denied a choice and the results show up in the death statistics. Midwives also have lower rates of unnecessary procedures and Caesarian births. Opening the market to midwives can save lives as well as dollars”.
Contact: Susan Hogarth | firstname.lastname@example.org
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