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Right to Privacy

The right to privacy protects every person’s ability to make personal decisions about sexuality, reproduction, and the family without government interference. As the European Court of Human Rights has observed, “the right concerning the decision to become a parent includes the right of choosing the circumstances of becoming a parent,” and “the circumstances of giving birth incontestably form part of one’s private life.” The right to privacy demands that the legal system and the healthcare system support reproductive healthcare choices in a straight-forward way without imposing restrictions or limitations on the basis of other peoples’ moral judgments or preferences. The application of the right to privacy to cover the right to choose the circumstances of childbirth acknowledges that decision-making around childbirth is a reproductive justice issue. Recognition of the right to choose the circumstances of childbirth requires states to legitimize and support the full range of women’s birth choices, including the choice to give birth with a midwife at home or in a birth center, or with a doctor or midwife at a hospital. The state should not enforce medical monopoly and make women’s choices less safe by treating out-of-hospital birth choices as illegitimate and driving them underground. The right to choose the circumstances of childbirth has implications for women’s right to support for vaginal birth. This issue is pressing, as the cesarean rate rises and thousands of women are told that their local hospitals will not support or “allow” vaginal birth. Birthing women have an autonomy right to walk out of an abusive hospital imposing unnecessary surgery, but that leaves many women with only the choice for an unassisted home birth. Birthing women also have a reproductive right to choose physiological childbirth with meaningful healthcare support and emergency backup. Birthing women make decisions around childbirth in accordance with their personal needs.  Women’s needs and decisions around modesty and privacy during labor and birth, pain relief, medical assistance, and surgery are different because women are different. Maternity care systems should be able to anticipate and support a diverse range of needs and choices around pregnancy and childbirth, and to support those needs with respect and non-judgment.  Respectful maternity care optimizes health for mother, baby, and community.

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Right to Privacy

The right to privacy protects every person’s ability to make personal decisions about sexuality, reproduction, and the family without government interference. As the European Court of Human Rights has observed, “the right concerning the decision to become a parent includes the right of choosing the circumstances of becoming a parent,” and “the circumstances of giving birth incontestably form part of one’s private life.” The right to privacy demands that the legal system and the healthcare system support reproductive healthcare choices in a straight-forward way without imposing restrictions or limitations on the basis of other peoples’ moral judgments or preferences. The application of the right to privacy to cover the right to choose the circumstances of childbirth acknowledges that decision-making around childbirth is a reproductive justice issue. Recognition of the right to choose the circumstances of childbirth requires states to legitimize and support the full range of women’s birth choices, including the choice to give birth with a midwife at home or in a birth center, or with a doctor or midwife at a hospital. The state should not enforce medical monopoly and make women’s choices less safe by treating out-of-hospital birth choices as illegitimate and driving them underground. The right to choose the circumstances of childbirth has implications for women’s right to support for vaginal birth. This issue is pressing, as the cesarean rate rises and thousands of women are told that their local hospitals will not support or “allow” vaginal birth. Birthing women have an autonomy right to walk out of an abusive hospital imposing unnecessary surgery, but that leaves many women with only the choice for an unassisted home birth. Birthing women also have a reproductive right to choose physiological childbirth with meaningful healthcare support and emergency backup. Birthing women make decisions around childbirth in accordance with their personal needs.  Women’s needs and decisions around modesty and privacy during labor and birth, pain relief, medical assistance, and surgery are different because women are different. Maternity care systems should be able to anticipate and support a diverse range of needs and choices around pregnancy and childbirth, and to support those needs with respect and non-judgment.  Respectful maternity care optimizes health for mother, baby, and community.

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Diritto alla privacy

Il diritto alla privacy protegge la capacità di ogni persona di prendere le proprie decisioni riguardo alla sessualità, alla riproduzione e alla famiglia senza interferenze da parte delle autorità statali. Come constatato dalla Corte Europea dei Diritti dell'Uomo, “il diritto riguardo alla decisione di diventare genitore include il diritto di scegliere le circostanze nelle quali diventare genitore”, e “le circostanze del parto e della nascita incontestabilmente fanno parte della propria vita privata”. Il diritto alla privacy richiede che il sistema legale e quello sanitario tutelino e supportino direttamente le scelte che riguardano la salute riproduttiva, senza imporre restrizioni o limiti basati su giudizi morali o preferenze di altre persone.

Estendere l'applicazione del diritto alla privacy al diritto di scegliere le circostanze del parto e della nascita significa riconoscere che il processo decisionale nell'ambito del parto è una questione di giustizia riproduttiva. Il riconoscimento del diritto alla scelta riguardo alle circostanze del parto richiede che gli Stati legittimino e supportino tutto lo spettro delle scelte nel parto che le donne hanno a disposizione, inclusa la scelta di partorire con un'ostetrica a casa o in una casa maternità, con un medico o un'ostetrica all'ospedale. Lo Stato non dovrebbe privilegiare il monopolio medico e fare in modo da rendere le scelte delle donne meno sicure trattando la scelta di parto fuori dall'ospedale come illegittima, portandola nella clandestinità.

Il diritto a scegliere le circostanze del parto si riflette sul diritto della donna al supporto per il parto vaginale. Si tratta di una questione urgente, visto il tasso dei cesarei in continuo aumento e visto che a migliaia di donne viene detto che l'ospedale nelle loro vicinanze non supporta o non “permette” il parto vaginale. Le donne in travaglio hanno il diritto di autonomia per cui possono uscire da una struttura ospedaliera che impone un'operazione chirurgica non necessaria. Tuttavia questa circostanza lascerebbe molte donne con la sola scelta del parto non assistito. Le donne che partoriscono hanno il diritto riproduttivo di scegliere il parto fisiologico con un'assistenza sanitaria adeguata e con supporto per l’eventuale emergenza.

Le donne che partorisco prendono decisioni riguardo al parto in conformità con i propri bisogni. I bisogni delle donne e le loro decisioni riguardo alla privacy, al travaglio, al parto, all'analgesia, all'assistenza medica, alle operazioni chirurgiche differiscono perché ogni donna è diversa. Il sistema sanitario nel percorso maternità dovrebbe essere capace di anticipare e sostenere diversi bisogni e scelte in gravidanza e nel parto, e di sostenere questi bisogni con rispetto e senza giudicare. La cura rispettosa in maternità ottimizza la salute della madre, dei bambini e della comunità.

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