Protesters Rally At Courthouse In Support Of Midwife

A Shelby County judge entered a not guilty plea on behalf of a Bloomington midwife Friday.

Jennifer Williams, 54, was formally charged with practicing medicine without a license and the unlicensed practice of midwifery, both felonies.

Dozens of people carried homemade signs and marched around the Shelby County courthouse in support of Williams, who said she has helped deliver about 1,500 babies.

While Williams is a certified professional midwife, the Shelby County prosecutor said she is not licensed by the state of Indiana.

Williams said the issue should be handled legislatively, not through criminal court.

"The state of Indiana needs to be able to provide a licensure for certified professional midwives and we have a bill right now, House Bill 1237, which would fix this problem legislatively rather than a criminal prosecution," Williams said.

Under state law, certified midwives must also be registered nurses. Williams is not a registered nurse.

Charges were filed against Williams after a newborn that she helped deliver died.

Williams was cleared of any wrongdoing in the baby's death. She is awaiting an April trial date.

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