Birth is a political issue. A feminist issue. In Australia women are currently under threat of having their right to choose where and how to birth taken away. It seems ludicrous that our society condones elective caesarians that are chosen purely out of convienience or unfounded fear, putting at risk the health of both mother and child, while it is planning to criminalise women who, through informed choice, decide to birth naturally, supported by a capable midwife in their own homes. Please act now to protect every Australian woman’s right to choose homebirth. It is a safe and viable option that is practised in countires such as England, New Zealand and the Netherlands to name a few. STOP THE ROT!
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You may have heard that women’s right to choose homebirth with a midwife in Australia is currently under threat.
Three Bills have been introduced to our Commonwealth Parliament to implement the Government’s maternity reform agenda. These Bills give Medicare (government healthcare funding) and subsidised insurance to eligible midwives – a huge breakthrough for Australian women. It means that from November 2010, Australian women will be able to choose a midwife in private practice to provide them with continuity of care through pregnancy, labour and birth.
The problem is that the Government doesn’t intend the funding or insurance to cover homebirths, at this stage. And under proposed National Registration rules, midwives will need insurance covering every aspect of their practice, in order to be registered. Effectively this will prevent midwives in private practice attending women birthing at home from 1 July 2010.
A Senate Committee is investigating all the facts relating to insurance for homebirth so our politicians can make an informed decision. This committee is seeking submissions on the issue.
We believe it’s vital that the Senate Review committee receive submissions from internationally-respected organisations and professionals.
Please consider writing a brief submission from you and/or your organisation to the Senate Committee telling them that it is essential that women retain the right to choose homebirth, with a midwife in private practice.
PLEASE NOTE: SUBMISSIONS CLOSE 20 JULY
This may not be a choice you would make for yourself, but it is evidence based and it must remain a choice.
Mothers and midwives across Australia are working tirelessly – holding rallies, writing letters to politicians, meeting with them, speaking to bureaucrats, writing submissions, etc.
We implore that you add voice to ours.