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Arizona court rules against challenge to rules on midwives

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX – An Arizona appellate court has upheld a trial judge’s ruling against a challenge to the state’s regulation of midwives.

The Court of Appeals ruling Thursday said the Department of Health Services had authority to issue revised rules regulating midwives, who by law must be licensed to deliver babies or provide related care.

The rules were first issued in 1994 and then revised in response to a 2012 law.

Midwife Wendi Cleckner sued to challenge the rules, contending they exceededed the department’s authority by narrowing the scope of what midwives could do.

Cleckner was a member of an advisory committee created to consider possible revisions.

The Court of Appeals said the 2012 law ordered the department to consider changing the rules but didn’t require it to increase midwives’ scope of practice.

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