Birth Center Regulations
This article in the Post-Dispatch identifies a regulatory barrier to opening birth centers in Missouri:
Another challenge in Missouri is the state’s licensing requirements for birth centers, which Henman and others are trying to change[.] Birth centers are licensed as ambulatory surgical centers even though no surgeries take place. Many of the requirements are expensive and unnecessary, says nurse midwife Rachel Williston, 34, who wants to open a birth center in Independence, Mo.
Complying with all the regulations for ambulatory surgical centers is no simple task. The regulations can make the difference between a facility being profitable enough to operate and being forced to close. This was evident in 2007, when Missouri law was changed to impose the ambulatory surgical center regulations on abortion clinics, which challenged the law in court. They argued that imposing such onerous regulations was a ploy to shut them down.
It’s unfair to regulate birth centers the same way as surgery centers, when no one performs surgery in them. Women can legally give birth at home, and their houses need not meet all the code specifications of a surgery center. Births in birth centers should be regulated more like births in homes.