Wednesday, March 11, 2009


The SBS INSIGHT program that went to air last night had the title
'Why are more Australian women having Caesarean sections?'

Guest panelists included mothers, midwives, and obstetricians. The Health Minister, Hon Nicola Roxon, joined the discussion by video conferencing. The transcript and video are available at the website. You will also find at that site a growing number of comments (over 500 at the time of writing this blog) from interested people.

What was clear to me, while watching the program, is the serious lack of insight that Nicola Roxon has. She played the safety card – where does she get that information from? Where is the evidence? She followed the script of the Report almost to the word.

There was no sign of acknowledgment or understanding that by implementing the recommendations she will be ushering in a new era, more restrictive to midwifery practice and to women’s choice of care provider than we have ever known before. We need to ask serious questions about the quality of advice about midwifery the Minister has been given. It’s not just about homebirth. It’s about a midwife’s right to choose to practise midwifery in any setting, and about a woman's right to access midwifery care privately if she chooses.

The absolute arrogance and lack of insight by obstetricians Ted Weaver and David Molloy astonished me – and you would think I had been around long enough not to be astonished. Would they recommend specialist primary care in other areas of medicine and surgery?

I was proud of the efforts of midwives in the program, and the women who spoke of woman centred care.

We have a big job ahead of us. We have a health system that supports every medical/technological choice, and restricts those who want to give birth in harmony with their body’s physiologically normal processes; clearly the safest and most satisfying way for most women.

Jo Hunter from Homebirth Oz has sent out a message about a petition

Please also sign our online petition to keep homebirth legal.

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