Midwife for mostly Amish, Mennonite patients wins case

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – A judge has ruled that a Missouri midwife and her clinic can continue delivering the babies of its mostly Mennonite and Amish patients.Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem disagreed this month with the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, which argued Susan Wilson and her clinic, A Mother’s Heart, was operating a birthing center without a proper state license, reports The Columbia Missourian. The case began 2 1/2 years ago, although the center near Versailles was allowed to operate while it was being decided.

“For the community, it means they have the option to deliver where they want and can continue to get the services they want,” said Wilson’s lawyer, Gaylin Carver.

Wilson had said many of the Mennonite and Amish patients she serves don’t want to give birth in a hospital.

By statute, birthing centers are considered a type of “ambulatory surgical center.” Those are defined as any establishment operated primarily for the purpose of performing surgical procedures or childbirths — a definition that Wilson argued her clinic didn’t meet because more than half of the health care the clinic provides is unrelated to births.

Beetem also ruled that the state must pay reasonable legal fees.

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