A Woman’s Choice

You’d probably have to be a hermit to miss the huge debate over women’s rights in healthcare that’s been raging in the media as of late. The debate has mainly centered around birth control and abortions. A lot has been said about the importance of choices for women. It will come as no surprise to long-time readers that I do not support abortion. Killing a child is not an acceptable choice!

However, considering all this talk of “choice” I’m at a loss as to why a very important choice is being all but ignored by the mainstream media: The choice women have in regard to where they will give birth and who will be there. Natural News featured an article about two Indiana midwives who were arrested. Why? Simply because they did not meet the state’s stringent licensing guidelines. That is not to say that they had no training or experience.

It’s not uncommon for a midwife to obtain her training through a school of midwifery and an apprenticeship under an experienced midwife. They are usually referred to as a “direct entry midwife”. Unfortunately, state licensing boards tend to listen to the large medical associations who are funded by the traditional medical colleges and usually strongly oppose homebirth under any circumstances. They want midwives to go to their medical schools, and practice midwifery in the hospital under the supervision of O.B. doctors. They don’t receive money from a direct entry midwife, and homebirths cut into the profits of their member doctors. It really does come down to money.

It’s supremely ironic isn’t it? Women can choose to kill their baby at any point during their pregnancy and neither they nor the practitioner run any risk of legal reprisal. Yet choose to have your baby in your own home with a qualified midwife and both you and your midwife might wind up being arrested regardless of the outcome. You can choose when and where to end the life, but you may not choose where that life will be born.

You can choose the kind of birth you want as long as it’s in the hospital, with a doctor, and you are flat on your back hooked up to an IV full of drugs. We’ve been given the illusion of choice. Oh, they might tell you that it’s not technically illegal to have your baby at home, but they’ll keep changing the licensing requirements until you can’t find a homebirth midwife who can practice legally. The choice is being made for you, make no mistake.

And the worst part, the worst part, is the accusations that parents who chose homebirth face. They are told that they are irresponsible. They are told that they don’t care about their baby. They are told that they are bad, unfit parents. Yet, if they had aborted the baby one day earlier, no one would have said a thing. They would have been making the responsible decision. No one would have questioned that “choice”.

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