‘Shepherd’s Law’: Bill aiming to regulate midwives in Oklahoma passes Senate

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A bill that would regulate Oklahoma midwives for the first time passed the Senate on Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1823, also known as “Shepherd’s Law,” authored by Sen. Brenda Stanley, R- Midwest City, was named after the son of an Oklahoma mother who died a day after being delivered by a nurse midwife.

Lecye Doolen told KFOR Shepherd Dean Lippoldt was her second child, and she opted to go with a midwife.

But near the end of her pregnancy, she said her midwife was ignoring signs something was wrong.

“Unfortunately, when I went into labor he was immediately in distress,” Doolen said.

Baby Shepherd died the next day.

Shepherd's Law
A bill that would regulate Oklahoma midwives for the first time passed the Senate on March 4, 2020.

Doolen says her baby boy’s death could have been prevented but says she trusted her midwife who assured her she didn’t need outside medical care.

“I trusted who I felt like was a medical professional,” Doolen said. “A decision I’ll regret the rest of my life.”

The nurse lost her nursing license following Shepherd’s death but continues to deliver babies as a midwife.

In Oklahoma, there is currently no regulation for this type of medical service.

Shepherd’s Law could establish licensure for midwives under the state health department.

The measure passed the full Senate on Wednesday by a vote of 41-5.

It now moves to a House committee.

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