Midwifery success a step to freedom

Tuesday, May 29, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 11:11 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 15, 2008

From Bruce Hillis, director, Missouri First, Dixon

The citizens of Missouri, especially those who love freedom, should laud John Loudon. Sen. Loudon is the architect of the recently enacted substitute legislation that will permit midwifery in Missouri. While I can’t speak to his methods, which have been made much ado of by members of both sides of the Jefferson City political aisle, I do believe that his accomplishment would make Thomas Jefferson, whose statue stands at the entrance to the capitol, proud.

Much of the discussion in the past few days, including that of the press, has been focused on the political maneuvering that gave birth to the legislation. Most of us, myself included, will never be able to sort out or understand all of the political motives that give rise to voice or vote in government; however, we should all be able to understand the principle of an issue if and when it is separated from the rhetoric of the moment.

The underlying question of the subject principle is this: Are governments established to “secure rights,” as explained by Mr. Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, or are “governments instituted among men” to prevent competition from alternative services? The real right to medical care, be it from a physician or a midwife, should rest with the individual and not with government.

Missouri laws that deny the rights of its citizens by preventing the practice of midwifery should be recognized as — to borrow a phrase from George Reisman, author of the 1,000 plus page treatise, “Capitalism” — a “perversion of the individual’s actual, rational right to medical care.” Sen. Loudon, during a recent debate, challenged his Senate colleagues by asking: “Are we going to vote for freedom here or are we going to let a narrow special interest in the hall stand in the way of compromise?” We should all be thankful that the FREEDOM to use midwives in Missouri was secured by the 2007 session of the Missouri General Assembly and that attempts for countermanding legislation failed.

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