NMI LGBTQ+ Policy Statement
Research by The Williams Institute in 2011 estimates there are 9 million people in the United States who self-identify as LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, genderqueer, questioning, and others who have gender identities and/or sexual orientations that differ from heterosexual and/or cisgender). Additional research reveals that serious health disparities exist between LGBTQ+ populations and cisgender and heterosexual populations.
LGBTQ+ people who experience barriers to accessing and receiving health care identify those barriers to include the intersectionality of issues and personal concerns regarding racism, homophobia, transphobia, gender, misogyny, education, literacy, income, and economic class.
LGBTQ+ people may seek midwifery care, having already accumulated the lived experience and effects of micro-aggression and marginalization. As midwives, we are responsible for providing culturally appropriate midwifery care to the people we serve. Providing competent midwifery care for LGBTQ+ people requires a midwife to be aware, sensitive, informed, and prepared to respond without unintentionallyor unconsciously inflicting additional harm through further micro-aggression and marginalization.
LGBTQ+ people may enter the midwifery profession. Barriers to access to midwifery education for LGBTQ+ people include the same bias, prejudice, and micro-aggression that they have encountered throughout their lifetimes—but with the added impact of limiting their choice of career path. The lack of LGBTQ+ midwives impacts consumer access to choice of care provider and diminishes the wealth of experience and knowledge within the professional midwifery community. LGBTQ+ midwives continue to personally experience bias and prejudice from professional colleagues. LGBTQ+ student-midwives experience the bias and disregard of individuals within the professional midwifery community.
As an institution, the Program Directors, Administrators and Academic Faculty of National Midwifery Institute, Inc. adopt the following, and urge our shared midwifery and student-midwife communities to consider, support, and integrate the following personal statements and practices:
We support families, birthing women and birthing people. Therefore:
- We know that our personal perspectives are limited by our own experience.
- We commit time and attention to listen to individuals and avoid making assumptions.
- We seek to dismantle and neutralize stereotypes.
- We accept and protect the personal rights of people to determine for themselves and express their gender, sexual preference, sexuality, and family structure.
- We believe humans are best served through kindness and consideration.
- We work to preserve the personal privacy and autonomy of gestating, pregnant, birthing, postpartum, and parenting people.
- We support the expansion of the midwifery profession to fully include, respect, and acknowledge the existence and contributions of LGBTQ+ midwives and student-midwives.
Furthermore, the institutional tone of NMI as expressed through Program Directors, Administrators and Academic Faculty is to accept the diversity of human gender and sexual identity, expression, and experience, and to support and protect our peers and students who encounter dismissive, devaluing attitudes and treatment.
Understanding the Health Needs of LGBT People - March 2016 publication by the National LGBT Education Center, a program of the Fenway Institute
LGBT Health Disparities - May 2013 publication by the APA Public Interest Government Relations Office
Improving the Health Care of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: Understanding and Eliminating Health Disparities - publication by the National LGBT Education Center, a program of the Fenway Institute
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health - publication by healthypeople.gov, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
"Like Walking Through a Hailstorm": Discrimination Against LGBT Youth in US Schools - 2016 Human Rights Watch publication
The Root of All Cruelty? - Paul Bloom - The New Yorker, November 2017
NMI Academic Honesty Policy
All students are expected to act with civility, personal integrity, respect other students’ dignity, rights and intellectual property, and to help create and maintain an environment in which all can succeed through the fruits of their own efforts. An environment of academic integrity is requisite to respect for self and others and a civil community. In the event that a student violates this policy, program Administrators and Course Work Instructors will counsel the student and will make the Grievance Procedure available to any other student who feels that their dignity, rights, or intellectual property have been transgressed.
Academic integrity includes a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception. Such acts of dishonesty include but are not limited to cheating or copying, plagiarizing, submitting another persons’ work as one’s own, using Internet sources without citation, tampering with the work of another student, and facilitating other students’ acts of academic dishonesty. In the event that a student violates this policy, program Administrators and Course Work Instructors will counsel the student, and all course work submissions that have been copied from other students, or from websites or books without proper citation, will be returned for resubmission.