New York City midwives hesitant to celebrate gov’s passage of birth center bill


At the last possible moment on New Year’s Eve, Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill restructuring the way midwife-led birth centers will be licensed and operated in New York State, but midwives are hesitant to celebrate the new law.

For weeks leading up to the eleventh-hour approval, midwives and activists pushed her to sign the bill before it expired on her desk as the new year started. The legislation — an amendment to state public health law sponsored by Assemblymember Richard Gottfried and state Sen. Gustavo Rivera — was meant to completely overhaul the licensing procedures and regulations for midwife-led freestanding birth centers.