See the countdown on the right side of the page? That's no joke. From July next year, Australian independent midwives will face a $30,000 fine for attending a birthing woman at home. The proposed legislation states that all midwives have to have personal indemnity insurance, but it won't be offered to independent midwives. This includes Lisa, my midwife and friend, who has seen me through two pregnancies and births, and stuck around when we got the shock of our lives, even though she's had all the training and been a registered midwife for the last 20 years. So basically anyone who gets pregnant after September this year has one less option when deciding where and how to have their babies.
Why? In a nutshell, because those in government just don't care. So home birthers across Australia are out to show them just how much WE care about the issue, show them how many people this legislation is going to impact.
This is more than just a home birth issue. This is a basic human rights issue. Nobody else has the right to tell me where I can or can't give birth, and with whom. Whether you agree with home birth or not isn't the issue here. If women can choose a hospital birth with an elective caesarean, or an epidural, or an induction, then why single out a natural, drug-free home birth, which has hugely better outcomes for both women and their babies?
So on Monday the 7th of September at 11:30 am, there's a rally happening on the steps of Parliament House in Canberra. I'm going one way or another. Are you?