VERY urgent please write!

VERY urgent please write!

As we discussed previously, all women should have the right to choose a birthing environment that best serves their desires and needs (see “Homebirth is not for everybody, but shouldn’t every woman have the right to choose?”). I also urged you to go online and sign the petition on the Homebirth Australia website, today I am asking you to email Ms Claire Moore. Chair. Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) support home birth for women with uncomplicated pregnancies. “There is no reason why home birth should not be offered to women at low risk of complications and it may confer considerable benefits for them and their families. There is ample evidence showing that labouring at home increases a woman’s likelihood of a birth that is both satisfying and safe, with implications for her health and that of her baby.

Fundamentally I believe this is an issue of choice – Removing choices for low risk birthing women. For such a progressive nation, removing freedom to make informed choices seems to be a serious regression for our country.

Submissions to the Senate Committee looking into making home birth illegal in Australia close tomorrow, 20 July! Homebirth may be illegal in Australia from July 2010.

So I urge you please if you do not believe homebirth should be illegal please copy the email letter below and submit or write your own letter but please take action

As many submissions/letters received by the senate on this issue the better. But I’ve only just realised the due date for these is tomorrow 20 July! so:

  1. At the very least please use the pro forma letter below with some detail, statements or information of your own and email it to, or
  2. Write your own letter.

Other details at:

Don’t forget! Submissions received after 20 July won’t be read!

This Senate Committee is receiving submissions until July 20, so please prioritise this. It is important and it will greatly help those of us at the ‘front’ of the lobbying activity.

You can email them to the Committee Secretary:

The 3 bills to be considered by the Committee have been drafted to provide Medicare funding, access to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and Indemnity Premium support to midwives. These bills, if passed into legislation in their current form, will not provide funding or indemnity for homebirth midwives. This legislation will then intersect with National Health Registration legislation (to come into force in July next year) that will require all health professionals to hold indemnity insurance. This will prevent midwives providing homebirth from registering and thus make their homebirth practice unlawful.

What Is The Answer?

This Committee is an important step towards achieving an amendment in the proposed bills. We clearly want all health consumers to be treated equally and therefore ask that all related legislation include midwives caring for women at home.

What Can You Do?

By providing ‘your story’ to the Senate you help put a face to homebirth that would otherwise be outlawed. In order to achieve change we will need to convince the Coalition, The Greens and key independents, Nick Xenophon and Steve Fielding.

If time is stretched you can use the following ‘pro-forma’ (below), but please add something personal, even if you can only manage a few lines!

Please forward this document far and wide. The more submissions we receive the easier it will be to keep homebirth legal.

In solidarity,

Justine Caines
Homebirth Australia Inc


{Your name}
{Your address}
Ms Claire Moore
Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee
By E-mail:


Dear Senator Moore


Re: Inquiry into Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and two related Bills


I write to express my concern about the above bills. I understand that these bills will enable Medicare funding, access to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and professional indemnity premium support for midwives providing care for women to give birth in hospital.


Medicare funding for midwifery care is long overdue. It is not acceptable however to exclude homebirth from this funding and indemnity arrangement. By doing this Australia is totally out of step with nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada, The Netherlands and New Zealand.


These nations support the rights of women to choose homebirth and fund a registered midwife through their national health scheme. In New Zealand and the U.K women have a legislative right to choose homebirth.


The intersection of this legislation with the national registration and accreditation of health professionals will prevent homebirth midwives from registering. I believe this to be an unintended consequence and ask that you take steps to include homebirth within the Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) and related Bills.


I support a system where all consumers are treated equally, with the same access to funding and the same insurance protection.


{Please add your own comments here}


Yours sincerely


{Your name}


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