Bill to decriminalize midwifery passes Alabama committee

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama lawmakers have moved closer to decriminalizing midwifery in the state.

A Senate committee Wednesday passed a bill that would make it legal for a licensed midwife to assist a woman in childbirth.

It's currently illegal in Alabama for anyone besides a doctor or a nurse midwife to deliver a baby.

Moulton Republican Rep. Ken Johnson's bill would allow a midwife with a license from an accrediting agency to legally assist in a home childbirth.

A lone critic on the committee argued the legislation is too lax on regulations. Proponents say it allows a woman to choose how she would like to give birth.

The bill has already passed the state House of Representatives and now moves to the full Senate.