Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Virtual Homebirth Rally

By now everyone is aware of the new legislation threatening Homebirth in Australia. Next month there is a rally in Canberra to support Homebirth and hopefully influence the parliamentarians to reconsider there current position of not providing indemnity insurance for independent midwives / private midwives. Unfortunately I am unable to attend the rally in person however I am excited at the prospect of being represented through a virtual rally, thank goodness for technology. I have designed my banner for the Homebirth rally and uploaded my picture.

In my time I have attended several rallies, some political and some pay issues within my nursing / midwifery career. I found them exhilarating, especially when you are fighting for a cause; of course the other issue is the rebel within me has a chance to be expressed. There have been several that I recall as monumental, one of those was when I worked at RPH and we all walked off the job to protest at Parliament House about workloads and pay. More recently was the march on Parliament House with the Maternity Coalition which was successful relating to maternity choices, again it was the consumer that made the difference.

One of my funniest protests was quite by accident when my girlfriend (Christine) and I were living in Hemel Hempstead UK about 10 years ago. We decided to go into London for the day, it was a Sunday, and it was a beautiful sunny day. Yes I know that can be unusual for the UK; we caught the train then the tube and got off at Piccadilly Circus. As we came up from the tube station, we thought the city of London looked particularly busy for a Sunday, some strange people everywhere, we looked closer as we were walking through the crowds towards Trafalgar Square and noticed that many people were carrying placards with a green leaf on them and there was a strange smell in the air. As we approached the centre we realised it was a socialist protest to ‘legalise it’ a green plant I guess it was “Marijuana” at least that’s what the plant looked like. We had a good laugh and wondered what our children would think if they saw us now, in the middle of a protest march for which we new nothing about. That’s how you get caught inadvertently in a protest march.

The power of the consumer is very important and people power can change legislation, so I urge you all to try and attend the rally and if not then please do become a virtual count, make your voice heard so that the politicians can see women are serious about being able to have autonomy over their own bodies. Women have the right to choose where to birth their babies without being dictated to by politicians or the medical model.

It is about, trust, integrity, fairness, honour and empowerment. Women know how to birth and where to birth – allow them the right to choose where to do it and to have a named midwife during pregnancy, birth and in the postnatal period.

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