As dear as breathing…

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“If women lose the right to say where and how they birth their children, then they will have lost something that is as dear to life as breathing.” –Ami McKay

“Mothers need to know that their care and their choices won’t be compromised by birth politics.” – Jennifer Rosenberg

Birth politics have been on my mind this week as I’ve come across various debates from within the birth profession about the regulation of midwives and the question of licensure, and then also the seemingly ever-present critiques of homebirth from outside the homebirth community. I don’t feel as if I have time lately to fully follow all the issues, but Citizens for Midwifery’s recent response to ACOG’s newest homebirth and maternal rights smackdown contains some important thoughts:

AJOG editorial rejects the ethic that autonomy is a fundamental human right

This article represents a serious attack on home birth and on patient centered care in the United States. The attack is based on poor research and runs roughshod over established rights to bodily integrity…

…not only does the article attack home birth, it also represents an attempt to “export” to the rest of the world a position that the obstetric profession, not mothers, should have the final decision on birth, at a time when that isn’t even legally defensible here in the United States…

…One contradiction stands out as the authors call for “safe, respectful, and compassionate” hospital delivery. No hospital birth can be truly respectful if the birth is happening in the hospital because the physician disrespects the woman’s right to an alternative and has rigged the system to eliminate access to all legal alternatives…

via Citizens for Midwifery

Related thoughts:

Maternal-Fetal Conflict?

The Illusion of Choice

“Woman-to-woman help through the rites of passage that are important in every birth has significance not only for the individuals directly involved, but for the whole community. The task in which the women are engaged is political. It forms the warp and weft of society.” –Sheila Kitzinger

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