Recent conversations have focused on the question of whether home birth is safe. Here is why it’s the wrong question to be asking.
From a tragic case in Massachusetts has emerged a rule affirming women’s fundamental personhood: “All births, regardless of venue, carry inherent risks; in the ordinary course, competent women who are pregnant may weigh these risks themselves and make decisions about the course of their own pregnancies and childbirths.”
We in North Carolina are enduring yet another vicious attack on the rights of pregnant and childbearing individuals. Women seeking home births may have the legal right to do so, but just like the women seeking abortion care, these laws do nothing to protect access.
Race-based maternal health disparities are no longer a concern of the minority — they are a concern of the majority. And they should be a top priority. If Medicaid doesn’t make room for alternative, potentially life saving maternal health models, we risk endangering the health of generations to come.
Weekly global roundup: Understanding rape in the Congo; Mobile phones prevent maternal deaths in Kenya; Ontario puts safeguards in place for sex workers; Teen pregnancy rises swiftly in Guatemala.
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.
There is a subtle message–often coming from other women–that to truly experience childbirth, women must eschew medical interventions, including pain medication, and go “natural.” But some women are happy to put their deliveries in the hands of the medical establishment with its rules and regulations, its operating rooms, its NICUs, and its drugs. That’s a good choice, too.