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Keywords:

  • birthing centers;
  • midwifery;
  • health policy;
  • birthing centers/history;
  • birthing centers/economics

The American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) is a multidisciplinary membership organization dedicated to the birth center model of care. This article reviews the history, membership, and current policy initiatives of the AABC. The history of AABC includes the promotion of research, education, and national and state policies that are supportive of birth center care. Current AABC priorities address three main pressures to birth center sustainability: high malpractice insurance rates, the lack of a federally mandated birth center facility fee, and low rates of certified nurse-midwife/certified midwife reimbursement. The AABC is addressing these concerns through lobbying, collaborating with other national organizations, and the promotion of birth research.