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Missouri Supreme Court hears midwifery lawsuit

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A suit challenging a law that legalizes midwifery in Missouri was heard today by the State Supreme Court.

The midwives provision was tacked onto a larger health insurance bill last year. Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce later struck down the midwives language, saying it violated the bill's original intent.

But attorney Thomas Rynard, representing Friends of Missouri Midwives, argued that the law's language was related to health insurance, and thus shouldn't violate the single-subject rule.

Mary Ueland, Grass Roots Coordinator for Friends of Missouri Midwives, is confident the High Court will overturn that decision.

"I think that the heavy burden of the proof lies on the opposition, the Medical Association, to prove that it was unrelated to health insurance," Ueland said.

Attorney Robert Hess argued for the Missouri State Medical Association, which opposes the midwifery language.

"This court's previous cases have clearly required a more direct chain of reasoning than is being applied in this case...there is no evidence in the text of the section which links this to insurance," Hess said.

Missouri's High Court will rule on the case at a later date.

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