Homebirth in Australia is now in the hands of Doctors and Obstetricians. Not in the hands of the women who are giving birth where it belongs. Too many people are ambivalent about this and don't realize the follow on implications. Women who choose to birth at home outside the hospital system are a small group, but our rights should be the same rights as those of every woman.
We should all have the right to choose where and with who we birth our babies. We should all have the rights to our own body.
Don't think this affects you? Think again.
Supermodel Gisele made the news today with suggestions to making breastfeeding compulsory for 6 months. As much as I am a staunch supporter of human milk for human babies I in no way think laws surrounding a woman's body are acceptable.
Same for abortion. It is up to the woman who is pregnant to make that decision. It is not up to a government to decide what is and is not OK for her to do with her body.
Too many women take for granted their right to choose an elective cesarean, to bottle feed their child, to breastfeed their older child, to have an abortion(there are some restrictions there), to get tattoos, wear pants and to have a same sex partner(though not a wife). These things are not without discrimination or judgment, but there are no laws inhibiting you.
Women are being forced to enter the hospital system. They are being forced to play by their rules by submitting to tests they would have avoided otherwise. They are losing the choice of preferred care provider. They have lost the rights to their bodies.
Though we may be a small group of women who are affected by the current homebirth laws our right to make an informed choice should be the same as everyone else. Those who aren't affected should maybe consider what bodily autonomy might be handed over to the powers that be next.