• jonny.hunter

The AP reports today that birth centers, freestanding institutions that offer women a delivery option between the poles of home and hospital, are another step closer to opening in Illinois: the state Health Facilities and Services Review Board held a rules hearing during which the centers faced no opposition. Some are expected to open before the end of the year.

Birth centers were illegal in Illinois until a 2007 legislative measure allowed for the construction of ten new ones. In 1997, Angela Bowman wrote in the Reader about Illinois’s resistance to allowing the centers—at that point they were legal in 34 other states. Why not here? Bowman also included a lengthy discussion about evolving standards of care for women in labor, an evolution with a Dark Ages-like 1950s that gave way to the natural-childbirth movement: