Thursday, September 10, 2009

Media from the rally

Jane Palmer's montage of photos and video footage.

While a crowd of 2000-3000 people wearing babies, holding umbrellas, and waving placards, gathered outside in the rain, the debate about midwifery proceeded in the House of Representatives. It has been reported that the Hansard record of the proceedings on Monday includes the mention of Midwives over 300 times!!! That has to be a record.

Here's a summary of media on the homebirth rally which has been circulated to the email lists.

Brisbane Times
The Age


The quality of the reporting from the rally was disappointing, yet it is consistent with the general apathy in the press towards physiologically normal human issues.

What other issue has engnedered a similar response: thousands of written submissions by ordinary Australians to government inquiries, and thousands of voters willing to travel to Canberra and protest outside Parliament House? The number of mothers who access private midwifery care for homebirth in this country is small - there's no denying that fact. Yet those women and families are entitled to respect, equity and safety in their maternity care. Those midwives are also entitled to respect in their professional practices.

Australia is not a totalitarian country. All statutory regulations must be in the public interest. It's clear that Nicola Roxon and her team got it wrong on the value and importance of homebirth with a private midwife. The legislation must be amended, or discarded. The partnership of homebirth and private midwifery is not an insignificant item that can be swept under the mat in a bureaucratic tidy up of maternity care. We are real people, we care deeply about birth and the whole maternity episode within life's complex continuum, and we vote.

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