Law to stop midwives working outside hospitals

| 20.06,09. 10:00 PM |

Law to stop midwives working outside hospitals

HOMEBIRTHS will become illegal under tough new laws that prevent women using midwives to have children outside hospitals.

The move is set to drive homebirths underground, with expectant mothers and their babies at risk.

There are fears women determined to have a homebirth will "go it alone" like birthing advocate Janet Fraser, whose baby died during a natural water birth in April.

Under the draft Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, released last week, a midwife cannot be registered unless she has insurance.

But with insurance companies and the Government so far refusing to include homebirths in the indemnity scheme, midwives will face being de-registered if they attend a homebirth.

Women's groups accuse the Rudd Government of stripping women of rights by forcing them into hospitals.

Australian College of Midwives boss Dr Barbara Vernon said the Government's intention was obvious.

"I had been optimistic until now when you can see it in black and white," she said. "Even though only less than half a per cent of women have homebirths, they should have the same rights as a woman who chooses to have a caesarean. Homebirths won't stop."

About 150 midwives do homebirths in Australia. Called independent or private midwives, most do not work in a hospital and are uninsured.

But from July 2010, they will no longer be able to call themselves midwives even though they are trained. Only those insured and registered can use the term midwife, otherwise they face a $30,000 fine.

There are about 700 homebirths a year but some say this may be as high as 2100 as they are under-reported.

For TV presenter and marriage celebrant Elizabeth Trevan, giving birth to her 18-month old twins Nash and Harvey at home was an "overwhelming experience."

"It breaks my heart to hear that the Government will do this," she said. "This is about choice.

"The Government should be driving this and helping midwives who want to (do) homebirths. They will never be able to afford insurance."

Home Births Australia secretary Justine Caines said the new law took away the rights of women.

"It technically makes homebirthing illegal," she said.

The Royal Australasian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is against homebirths.

(Votes: 0)

Write Your Comment

Other News

Roosters defend Blind Freddy Kevin Rudd calls for Utegate inquiry over John Grant claim Cop jailed for selling dodgy licences وفاة أسترالي مصاب بفيروس (اتش1 ان1) كُل جملاً وانقذ استراليا Man robbed in own driveway 12-year-old to be sentenced for rape Dad set fire to house and held kids inside حجر طبي على طالب سعودي في أستراليا بسبب أنفلونزا الخنازير Fadi Ibrahim out of his coma and speaking about that night Sydney water catchment laced with toxins Killer bouncer tops list of Australian fugitives تجريد ملكة جمال أستراليا من لقبها   McDonald's siege ends peacefully Search for missing man finds body Extended trading hour Bill goes to Parliament Engine malfunction grounded Airbus A330 Frankston man 'holding police at bay Shots fired in Macca's siege حادثتا اعتداء على سبعة طلاب سعوديين في أستراليا خلال أسبوع واحد Islamic school divides western Sydney suburb نجاة طفلين من تمساح التهم كلبهما في أحد شواطئ استراليا مصر تمنع وفدًا استراليًا إسلاميًا رفيع المستوى من الوصول إلى رفح Sacked minister Tony Stewart wins first legal victory Gunman on loose after fatal shooting Airport lane change forces motorists into carpark Miss Universe Australia Rachael Finch could lose her crown أستراليا ستتقدم بعرض لاستضافة كأس العالم Men of colours stand united in face of bikie bill Robbed of $50, then bashed for the hell of it