By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) -- A certified nurse midwife in central Kentucky has applied to open the first alternative birthing center in the state.

Mary Carol Akers told The News-Enterprise she thinks women in Kentucky should have more birthing options, and has applied to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family for a certificate of need, in order to build and operate the Visitation Birth and Family Wellness Center in Elizabethtown. The certificate is required to safeguard against having too many health care facilities.

Cabinet spokeswoman Beth Fisher says there are no other alternative birthing centers licensed in the state.

A hearing has been set for Feb. 20-21.

Three area hospitals have expressed opposition to the center. Hardin Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Michelle Murphy says officials there have "legitimate patient safety concerns."

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