Monday, October 01, 2007

Rise! to the defense of CHOICE!

Yesterday, after spending about 4 hrs. setting up the silent auction, running errands, and generally being a happy little involved gofer, not to mention baking for the cast and crew, I watched Karen Brody's play BIRTH. Although I LOVED it, every wonderful feminine, rebellious minute of it, there were things I didn't like, or at least didn't love. I don't love that it is ok for a woman to be a chicken shit about her birth. It's not safer to have a c-section. It's not better for her, or her baby. And it's not ok to cost the system ten thousand extra dollars simply because people have scared you into it. NOT ok. Otoh, I do respect the many many women who carry and birth their babies under difficult medical circumstances, and who need the opportunity to do this in the safest possible way. These women are a seerious MINORITY, not 30% of all women birthing in the USA today! That's the c-section rate, currently. Nationally. Globally it's a different story. This is what you get when you search the WHO's database on international or global c-section rates. Bah.

Then today I read this article. I recognize it's on a save home birthing website. Possibly because it's completely about home birth? NO! Because it's another piece of a mother's choice that is being taken from her by a government less interested in the benefits to a mother than in the long term politics of medicine and pharmaceuticals. The amount of money they have been losing because Amish and Plain women nearly ALWAYS birth at home is really pretty small. But now studies are coming out showing that homebirth is often safer for low risk women and their babies. Now the UK mandates to permit homebirth as a viable option to all low risk pregnant women, making the US look like a great big boobie since much of Canada (though not all) has already passed this legislation. So Big Boobie that we are, we'll back up our hard nosed position to the Nth, and make it impossible for even religiously exempted women to birth their babies at home. What a bunch of tools! If the legislators were affected themselves (for example, legislation were passed to mandate vasectomies for all men over 40, or how about no beer sold on days when the NFL, AFL, NBL, ABL or NHL were playing? Oh I like that one!) perhaps they would wake the fuck up and quit pushing people around. Perhaps one of their daughters will catch Hep B from a hospital she was FORCED to birth in because even though she is young and healthy and unafraid of the pain of labor and birth, she is not ALLOWED by LAW to birth in the comfort of her own bed, where the sheets carry only her own germs, and she can eat scrambled eggs at 8cm.

On a more positive note, I think this is the best thing the WHO is working on right now - it should be HUUUUGE and it isn't, but it's a better effort than no effort at all!

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