Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Jeff Unsicker


This capstone paper investigates the organization, The Big Push for Midwives and its state advocacy campaigns for Certified Professional Midwifery licensure from the perspective of policy analysis and advocacy. The paper explores the current policies, procedures and practices occurring in American maternity care that are resulting in the United States being ranked 41st in the world for maternal mortality, despite the fact that the United States spends more on maternity care than any other country on the planet. It examines the rationale for policy changes that increase access to out-of-hospital birth and Certified Professional Midwives as a method and solution to combat the ever-rising maternal mortality rate in the United States of America. The paper describes and evaluates many aspects of the organization’s advocacy, including discussions of recent work that has led to new legislation in Idaho and Wyoming. In so doing, the paper examines advocacy such as how The Big Push has framed this issue and the messaging and tactics it has utilized. In addition to identifying strengths and weaknesses, the paper identifies a series of general lessons that can be learned for other advocacy campaigns.


Maternal and Child Health | Politics and Social Change