South Dakota Safe Childbirth Options (SDSCO) is a group of people in South Dakota and neighboring states who support an expansion of childbirth options in the state of South Dakota. It was formed in 1992 following the prosecution of a well loved and highly respected Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) in the state, and a following cease and desist, ordering all direct entry midwifes to stop practicing in South Dakota, or also face prosecution. Midwife supporters rallied around them, determined to change the laws regarding midwifes and home births.
In South Dakota we are seeing a large shift in the ways women want to give birth. More are seeking out birth centers and home births. With the laws in South Dakota, this means they must travel out of state. Some even attempt to deliver their babies at home, unattended by any birthing professionals. The goal of SDSCO is to change the laws so that birth centers and CPM are legal throughout the state, giving women the options they have so loudly requested. When asked where she would like to see the group in a year, Debbie Pease, one of the group’s most active members, said “Celebrating the allowance of birth centers and CPMs in the state of South Dakota”.
SDSCO’s main focus is being heard by legislators. They meet with the people running for office in the hopes to educate and inform of the demand for these options. The help write bills they hope to get passed. Their hope is to build a closer relationship with the medical community and work together to make sure the women in South Dakota have safe options that meet the rising demands for birth centers and CPMs.
If you also recognize the need for this revolution in our state, please, join SDSCO in their crusade to bring more options to our citizens. There are many ways in which you can get involved with SDSCO.
1. Go to their website: www.sdsafebirth.com Sign up for the newsletter.
2. Follow on Facebook: South Dakota Safe Childbirth Options. Here you can see up and coming events you can attend. You can also meet other supporters and create new ways to get the word out.
3. Attend the annual Walk For Midwives. Check the website and face book for when this event is held. Usually in May.
4. Spread the word! Share your feelings with your friends and family and provide them with the above ways to get involved.
5. Write our legislators. The more they see this as a rising issue, the more attention it will get.
If you would like to attend The Politics of Birth In South Dakota, a meeting with Dr. Natalie Thiex, MPH, PhD from SDSU on why our laws need to be changed in favor of birth centers and CPM, please come to the Oakview Library in Sioux Falls (3700 E 3rd St) on Monday, November 15th at 6:30pm. This event is FREE and open to the public. The children's room will be available for women with children who would like to attend.
I would like to thank Debbie Pease for allowing me to talk with her at length about SDSCO and our shared belief that SD needs more safe options for women giving birth. She is a woman of inspiration and heart. Thank you, Debbie.