Sunday, 22 March 2009

Free Birth

Our friend Jacinta, who gave birth to both her sons at home, organised this peaceful protest this morning.

Photo: The very talented John Mayger
Click for bigger image

As of July 2010, all midwives in Australia will require insurance in order to be registered. Hospital employed midwives are covered by their hospital’s insurance policy or by membership of the nurses’ union. Private midwives need to be insured too but no insurer is willing to cover them. The Government supports private obstetricians with insurance but now refuses to help private midwives. 

No insurance = no registration.

Private midwives will have to cease homebirth practice, move overseas to work or face prosecution. Homebirth will be driven underground. Some women will birth at home alone without skilled, professional support. 

Whether you would choose homebirth or private midwifery for yourself is not the issue. As of July 2010, women’s choices around birth will be even more restricted than they already are. If women lose this option now, they will never get it back.

Doesn't every woman deserves the right to choose where, how and with whom she wants to give birth?


myblackfriendsays said...

Yes. Every woman does deserve to decide how she is going to give birth. Isn't Australia the same place that banned guns? It sounds like the government is overstepping its bounds.

Meg said...

Huh? Are you saying that guns are OK?

tealotus77 said...

I was so surprised to read this about Oz... I thought that this silliness was restricted to my neck of the woods. Is there any constructive way to support the cause of homebirth?


Meg said...

Apart from writing letters to various ministers in your state/country, you could always sign this petition.

Midwives For President; said...

What is a midwife to do?
And no one really even Understands what all this meanS.
It horrifies me to think the legacy of how midwives have been legally muzzled for over 100yrs in australia and yet this is such a silent herstory.
how this Control of midwives then transfers to the subtle pernicious control of women, & yet for cultural reasons feminism as a mainstream concept has hardly touched on this. well now more than ever we need birth art is all i can say.
Meggy thank you for writting about every important & interesting thing. your blog is such a rich resourse in my busy life!!

Meg said...

And thank you for your blog too, MFP.

I have also been surprised that mainstream feminists haven't come fwd to discuss this issue, and also the mainstream media. Which is why I am such a strong advocate for the blogosphere: it's where the real news is documented and where the real issues are discussed.

Blog on, sister! xx

Claire said...

Yes yes! A friend who is studying midwifery told me about this yesterday and I *could not* believe it at first, and then felt so sad that this is the way the world is going. So important.

Lou said...

I also cannot understand why feminist groups haven't expressed a view on this.(Maybe they have I just may have missed it).At the end of the day it is about a woman's right to choose.I had my babies in a Family Birth Centre but I still feel very strongly that if a woman want's to give birth at home she should be able to choose that option,safe in the knowledge that she is able to seek out a professional midwife and have medical backup if the need arises.Maybe the midwifery profession has a role to play in all this.I work as a nurse in a women's hospital and often see women who choose the natural birth option being judged and stereotyped by other midwives when circumstances change and they require medical intervention.Women (and midwives)need to support each other.

myblackfriendsays said...

I'm not saying that guns are necessarily "good," I'm saying that banning guns and restricting free birth are both examples of the government intruding significantly into the citizens' lives.

I live in the U.S. and here we have a lot of freedom, so we have to kind of just take the good with the bad. But I would prefer that to the government deciding what is okay and not okay for everyone.

Meg said...

Government intervention is a fine line, but when it comes to guns, I'm glad I'm on this side of it.