If you’re pregnant and wind up in a Catholic hospital, you could find yourself in more trouble after you’ve seen a doctor than before you walked in the door.
Two weeks ago the American Association of Birth Centers and the American College of Nurse-Midwives released the findings from a new study.The big picture finding is this: for low-risk women giving birth, birth centers are an alternative that provides a safe, supportive, and cost-saving environment in which to give birth.
Hopefully, the tragedy of Savita will, at least, finally spur the Irish government to issue clearer guidelines that the life of the pregnant woman must be privileged over that of her fetus. But if the thousands demonstrating reflect changes already underway in Irish society—including a growing dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church’s influence—perhaps some day Savita Halappanavar will be remembered as the woman whose death was a turning point in the long struggle for the legalization of abortion in Ireland.
Would you chose external gestation if you could? What do artificial wombs mean for reproductive rights – including abortion, equality and the role of women in society? The moral, ethical, legal and societal consequences are profound and we are unprepared for them.
Poor quality maternity care, abuse by health workers, and health systems that are unaccountable to pregnant women and mothers all can subvert efforts brimming over with resources and political will.
Thirty-eight of 58 countries surveyed may fail to meet their target of 95 percent coverage by skilled attendants by 2015 unless an additional 120,000 midwives are trained, deployed and retained. A new report also indicates that upgrading midwifery services could save more than 3.6 million lives each year by 2015.