I hear it often, but I don’t homebirth so the new regulations don’t effect me/aren’t worth my time. I hate to break it to you, but the fight for homebirth effects everyone.
Only 3% of babies in Australia are born at home. Fewer still are considered high risk pregnancies. So it’s safe to say that a majority of women are not giving birth in their homes. So why make it illegal? Why make a big fuss? Why make it a big deal if the plan in’t to move on to bigger things?
First goes homebirth, then what? VBACs? Birth centres? Vaginal deliveries for high risk patients? Any choices in birth? Will we lose all bodily autonomy?
What about the choice to vaccinate? Or refuse treatment for our children? Will those choices go too?
The assumption that your birth choices are protected because you are birthing within the hospital system is wrong. The truth is once a system starts dictating where you can birth (as in only in hospital no where else) those who believe the system is right will go to hospital, those who believe it is wrong will be forced underground. And so will dawn the new era of Freebirth.
But will these women be persecuted for choosing to have their babies at home? What if, heaven forbid, their babies die, will this bring further charges and persecution?
Whether you believe homebirth is safe or not, whether you believe it is for you or not, the fight for homebirth is about all birth choices. Just as soon as they take this choice away they could strip us of birth centres, waterbirths, delayed cord clamping, and even elective csections. This is about securing choices for all women and all babies.
So please, write to your local MPs, attend rallies, and support those women brave enough to put themselves out there for the fight like Janet Fraser.