Readers are probably aware of the crimes against women, babies and birth the Australian government is in the process of committing (see Maternity Services Review blog posts). Midwives Victoria have succinctly outlined the measures the government has taken which will effectively make homebirth with a midwife illegal on their blog:
"Clauses from the draft legislation Health Practitioner Regulation Law 2009 below have been identified by Justine as being very problematic to homebirth practice.
69 Eligibility for general registration
(1) An individual is eligible for general registration in a health profession
(a) the individual is qualified for registration in the health profession,
(b) the individual has successfully completed:
(i) any period of supervised practice in the health profession required by the National Board established for the health profession, or
(ii) any examination or assessment required by the Board to assess the individual’s ability to competently and safely practise the profession, and
(c) the individual is a suitable person to be registered in the profession, and
(d) there is, or will be, in force in relation to the individual appropriate professional indemnity insurance arrangements, including a policy held, or arrangements made, by the
individual’s employer that will cover the individual
101 Conditions of registration
(1) If a National Board decides to register a person in the health profession for which the Board is established, the registration is subject to the following conditions:
(a) for a registered health practitioner other than a health practitioner who holds non-practising registration:
(i) that the registered health practitioner must complete the continuing professional development program required by the National Board, and
(ii) that the registered health practitioner must not practise the health profession unless professional indemnity insurance arrangements are in force in relation to the practitioner’s
practice of the profession,
(b) for a registered health practitioner who holds non-practising registration, that the person must not practise the health Profession,
Note. A failure by a registered health practitioner to comply with a condition of
the practitioner’s registration does not constitute an offence but may constitute behaviour for which disciplinary action may be taken." (Read full blog post here).
One birth activist; Justine Cairnes has organised for anyone who is outraged with these actions to gather in Canberra on September 7 to protest.
The following is from Justine's Save Homebirth website:
HOME - EVERY WOMAN’S BIRTH RIGHT – RALLY FOR HOMEBIRTH – MONDAY SEPTEMBER 7 2009, PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA
Homebirth Australia is hosting a MAJOR rally in Canberra (outside Parliament House) on Monday September 7 from 11.30am.
There has been much discussion about the potential outlawing of homebirth and the continued lack of equity for women choosing homebirth.
We need this to be BIG. When I met with the federal department of Health they commented on the huge number of submissions (900 of which over half came from homebirth consumers). Sadly I said if you outlaw homebirth I will lead 9000 angry women and babies to Canberra!
Now 9000 may be a tall order but we need thousands.
For all the women and midwives that have contacted and said this issue matters please put it in your diary.
There is lots to organise and we look forward to many providing ideas and support.
The states close to Canberra will be called on to provide as many as possible to attend.
It would be great to have at least a few from every state and territory.
Please forward this meeting far and wide.
Details will soon be on the HBA website.
Hopefully I'll see you all in Canberra in September!