A bill that requires training and certification of "direct entry" midwives passed the House Tuesday in a close vote, 41-30.

HB25 also makes it clear that basic midwifery is legal in Utah, said sponsor Rep. Jackie Biskupski, D-Salt Lake.

The debate was at times emotional, technical and direct, with a number of House members saying the bill would actually make home deliveries of babies more dangerous rather than safer as advocates claim.

Biskupski said extensive amendments to HB25 now brought the endorsement of the Utah Medical Association and other groups of health-care professionals.

But Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, and others said giving certificates to the most basic of midwife practitioners, especially allowing them limited use of drugs, will give both the hopeful mother and the direct entry midwives the belief that home delivery is safer, and the midwives more competent, than they really are.

Biskupski said just the opposite is true: that by knowing the midwife is certified, and by signing a consent form before the birth, the mother will know the person helping her deliver her baby has been properly trained.