Today our Health Minister Nicola Roxon was quoted in the AAP as being optimistic about the future of home birthing. The headline raised an eyebrow (it disappeared somewhere well above my hairline) before my jaded inner cynic reasserted itself. She has more than proven she is against home birth, evidence and reason time and again and several of her stunts have left me with little faith that anything she says which may appear positive is nothing more to cover up the reality of ignoring the people she is supposed to be advocating for while using a bit of lip service (or more accurately lip gloss...) to appear sympathetic in the press.
The article goes on to say that the federal governments decision to support professional indemnity insurance for private practice midwives could help those offering home birth services down the track. They will do this by subsiding insurance for private midwives. "This will make a real difference to expectant mums, who can now elect to see a private midwife who will have government-subsidised insurance and, from November 1, have the cost of those services covered by Medicare," Health Minister Nicola Roxon said. If that sounds too good to be true your bullshit detection abilities are in fine working order.
The government subsidy does cover midwives in private practice. Just NOT if they're attending home births. As their are NO hospitals which extend visiting access to private midwives that sure is interesting way to 'make a real difference to expectant mums'!
Ms Roxon said the move is a significant step forward. What Ms. Roxon forgot to mention was that it was -one- step forward taken AFTER she'd waltzed a thousand back tromping all over human and women's rights, individual choice, the ability to determine what medical care, care models and treatments one deems fit for oneself and ones children, ones ability to self determine etc. etc. on the way!
The only other insurance option for private practice midwives it appears is one which does NOT COVER BIRTH. Obviously dreadfully useful then...
This whole thing just breaks my heart. It is a tragedy for the midwives who are loosing their passion and livelihood.
It's a tragedy for home birthing mothers who are having their rights to their bodies interfered with.
It is a tragedy for the babies and families who should be born in peace, in the places and mode of care their choice.
It is a tragedy for the generations whose only associations of birth will be the kind typical of a hospital system - managed, medicated, intervened, disembodied, painful, harassed - something to be endured and survived instead of rejoiced over.
It is a tragedy for those who have neither any idea nor interest in it because their rights are being stolen as well.
And it is an utter tragedy that it's done with political spins, manipulations, big business arse kissing and blatant bullshitting to slip the lies past the masses with a few smooth words and sound bytes under the guise of "helping" advance women's rights and choices.