Thursday, July 16, 2009

Letters Needed to Australia Senate Committee by July 20

Received this message from the Maternity Coalition in Australia:

You may have heard that women's right to choose homebirth with a midwife in Australia is currently under threat.

Three Bills have been introduced to our Commonwealth Parliament to implement the Government's maternity reform agenda. These Bills give Medicare (government healthcare funding) and subsidised insurance to eligible midwives - a huge breakthrough for Australian women. It means that from November 2010, Australian women will be able to choose a midwife in private practice to provide them with continuity of care through pregnancy, labour and birth.

The problem is that the Government doesn't intend the funding or insurance to cover homebirths, at this stage. And under proposed National Registration rules, midwives will need insurance covering every aspect of their practice, in order to be registered. Effectively this will prevent midwives in private practice attending women birthing at home from 1 July 2010.

A Senate Committee is investigating all the facts relating to insurance for homebirth so our politicians can make an informed decision. This committee is seeking submissions on the issue.

We believe it’s vital that the Senate Review committee receive submissions from internationally-respected organisations and professionals.

Please consider writing a brief submission from your organisation to the Senate Committee telling them that it is essential that women retain the right to choose homebirth, with a midwife in private practice.


If midwives lose their right to attend homebirths in Australia, other countries’ governments could use our example to enact similar legislation.

Mothers and midwives across Australia are working tirelessly – holding rallies, writing letters to politicians, meeting with them, speaking to bureaucrats, writing submissions, etc.

We implore that you add your international voices to ours.

Please forward this email far and wide amongst your networks.

See attached:
+Maternity Coalition’s fact sheet about the issues as we understand them
+Homebirth Australia’s info sheet on how to make a submission to the Senate Review committee

Melissa Fox
Mother of Lily (4) and Mia (1)
Maternity Coalition Inc
Ph: +61 7 3846 4664
Mob: +61 404 88 2716
Web: Maternity Coalition

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