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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

MO Midwifery Bill Lives

Posted By on Tue, May 15, 2007 at 11:05 AM

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Sen. John Loudon, the Chesterfield Republican who tricked the Missouri Legislature into voting to legalize midwifery, knew exactly why I was calling this morning.

When I spoke with Loudon on Friday afternoon for this blog post, he said Democratic senator Chuck Graham of Columbia had successfully blocked passage of his proposed legislation, and that as a last resort he planned to attach the bill this week in the form of an amendment.

The truth is that Loudon had already slipped it into the big health-insurance package the Senate passed on Thursday.

Loudon apologized for not being upfront.*

“I knew that I had put the provision in when we talked, but I wasn’t sure it would become law. The house was still debating it. I felt badly,” Loudon says.

Loudon's fellow legislators might be seeking an apology as well. They overlooked the amendment because Loudon had cagily removed any mention of midwifery. Instead Section 376.1753 contains the word “tocological.”

That's a reference to “tocology” -- from the Greek tokos, meaning "childbirth" -- the practice of obstetrics or midwifery.

Loudon says midwife advocates found the word in an ACT test prep guide, which one of the families’ teenagers was studying.

Loudon scored on behalf of the people he credits with the birth of his son, but yesterday he lost his chairmanship of the Small Business, Insurance and Industrial Relations Committee, when Kirkwood Republican Mike Gibbons, pesident pro tem of the Senate, gave him the heave-ho.

The Senate may yet find a way to repeal the provision that was passed last week.

-Kathleen McLaughlin

*[Update 5/15/07 2:20 p.m.] Editor's note: As originally posted, this item said that Senator Loudon had "apologized for lying" to us. The senator called to clarify that he did not apologize for lying, but rather for his failure to disclose when he spoke with the paper last week that he had already attached his bill as an amendment, and that a vote was, at that very moment, pending. Point taken: Call it a conscious decision to withhold information.

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