Welcome Speech

Welcome Speech

On May 26, 2016, Human Rights in Childbirth held the second HRiC US Summit in Los Angeles, California.  Activists and legal advocates from the nation’s leading reproductive justice and maternal health consumer advocacy groups convened for one day to share stories and information about the human rights concerns facing their communities as well as their strategies for solving those problems.  The Summit worked through the day to develop the draft for a Consensus Statement on the human rights of birthing people in US maternity care, focusing on calls to action for ensuring that every pregnant person’s rights are respected and upheld in pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.  HRiC Executive Director Hermine Hayes-Klein gave the following speech to welcome the assembly at the start of the day.

....Women Deliver Speech..Rede Women Deliver..Women Deliver Speech....

....Women Deliver Speech..Rede Women Deliver..Women Deliver Speech....

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Human Rights in Childbirth founder and executive director Hermine Hayes-Klein gave this speech at Women Deliver 2016, on a panel session titled “Compassionate and People-Centered Care: Why We Need It.”  The session’s subtitle: “Respectful maternity care is a woman’s right, not a luxury. Ensuring that women are not only satisfied with their care but have a positive birth experience can be the catalyst to ensuring they survive and thrive.”

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Menschen brauchen, wie alle Säugetiere, ein Gefühl der Sicherheit um gebären zu können. Geburt als physiologischer Vorgang wird von Hormonen gesteuert und diese Hormone werden stark von den Gefühlen der Gebärenden beeinflusst. Die Gefühle wiederum sind stark abhängig davon, ob die Frau sich in ihrer Umgebung sicher fühlt oder nicht. Was Frauen für dieses Gefühl der Sicherheit benötigen, ist von Mensch zu Mensch unterschiedlich und auch kulturell bedingt. Manche Frauen müssen sich sicher fühlen um nackt sein zu können, andere müssen bedeckt sein, um sich sicher zu fühlen. Einige fühlen sich in einer Umgebung sicher, wo sie ganz still und friedlich sein können, andere müssen sich bewegen, tanzen, singen oder schreien. Einige Frauen brauchen ihre eigenen Mütter um sich, andere ihren Mann.

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Human Rights in Childbirth founder and executive director Hermine Hayes-Klein gave this speech at Women Deliver 2016, on a panel session titled “Compassionate and People-Centered Care: Why We Need It.”  The session’s subtitle: “Respectful maternity care is a woman’s right, not a luxury. Ensuring that women are not only satisfied with their care but have a positive birth experience can be the catalyst to ensuring they survive and thrive.”

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Rooted: Understanding the History of Birth Justice and Growing a Movement

Rooted: Understanding the History of Birth Justice and Growing a Movement

The history of midwifery in Florida is at once inspiring and infuriating. In 1920, there were 4000 midwives. In 2016, there are just over 100 licensed midwives in the state. Where did all the midwives go? As birth workers, we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors whose stories have been neglected and disrespected. The saying goes that when an elder passes, it is like burning down a library. So imagine, for a moment, all the wealth of birthing knowledge that has been lost because no one took the time to sit with and listen to the stories of those thousands of elder midwives.

Rinat Dray is Not Alone, Part 4

Rinat Dray is Not Alone, Part 4

Have you heard that “liability pressure” compels doctors to increasingly deliver babies by cesarean section?

Have you wondered how it could be that the law, which is supposed to protect patients’ rights and enforce healther providers’ duties of care, would drive doctors toward imposing costly, risky, and unnecessary surgeries on birthing women?

Rinat Dray is Not Alone, Part 3

Rinat Dray is Not Alone, Part 3

In Rinat Dray is Not Alone, Part 1 and Rinat Dray is Not Alone, Part 2, we share the basic facts of Rinat Dray’s forced c-section and legal action, and the sections of our amicus brief on the right to informed consent and refusal.  In Section III of the brief, we discussed the barriers that women face to accessing redress and accountability for non-consented interventions in childbirth.

Rinat Dray is Not Alone, Part 1

Rinat Dray is Not Alone, Part 1

On December 23, 2014, Human Rights in Childbirth submitted an amicus curiae brief in the New York case of Rinat Dray vs. Staten Island University Hospital et al for a forced cesarean section that she received in 2011.  We submitted the brief together with the US Birth Rights Bar Association, Improving Birth, and the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) as fellow amici, with the purpose of informing the court about the context and significance of Rinat Dray’s experience in US maternity care.

Home VBAC banned in Italy by Midwifery Boards

In July 2014 the National Federation of Midwifery Boards (FNCO) has issued a technical statement on the practice of vaginal birth after cesarean sections (VBAC) at home. The statement discourages midwives to support and assist women in this choice and it openly declares that women cannot exercise their rights in childbirth, stating that:

“[…] the midwife must not suggest nor go along with the woman’s wishes for a VBAC at home. This conduct has to be followed even in case where there is a specific written informed consent because the disproportion between the risks and the benefits makes the exercising of this right unavailable for the woman.”

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