One World Birth: Freedom for Birth
Freedom from Birth is a new 60 minute campaigning documentary featuring a Who’s Who of leading birth experts and international human rights lawyers all calling for radical change to the world’s maternity systems.
The Documentary Reframes Child Birth
As The Most Pressing Global Human Rights Issue Today
Internationally the film is launching with hundreds of premieres all over the world on the same day, Thursday, September 20th, 2012.
Here in Portland, Oregon we will be hosting a screening on September 20th, 2012 at 7pm on the east side of Portland in the Woodstock neighborhood at 5528 SE Woodstock Blvd., Portland, OR 97206. You also have the opportunity to watch the film (same time/date) in SW Portland at Andaluz Waterbirth Center where it is being sponsored by both Andaluz and the local Portland ICAN chapter.
Hermine Hayes-Klein, US lawyer and organizer of the recent Human Rights in Childbirth Conference at the Hague, the Netherlands says:
“The way that childbirth is being managed in many countries around the world is deeply problematic. Millions of pregnant women are pushed into hospitals, pushed onto their back and cut open. They are subject to unnecessary pharmaceutical and surgical interventions that their care providers openly admit to imposing on them for reasons of finance and convenience. Women around the world are waking up to the fact that childbirth doesn’t have to be like this and it shouldn’t. Disrespect and abuse are not the necessary price of safety”.
Made by British filmmakers Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, Freedom For Birth film tells the story of an Hungarian midwife Agnes Gereb who has been jailed for supporting women giving birth at home. One of the home birth mothers supported by Ms Gereb decided to take a stand.
When pregnant with her second child, Anna Ternovsky took her country to the European Court of Human Rights and won a landmark case that has major implications for childbirth around the world.
Toni Harman, one of the filmmakers says,
“the Ternovsky vs Hungary ruling at the European Court of Human Rights in 2010 means that now in Europe, every birthing woman has the legal right to decide where and how she gives birth. And across the world, it means that if a woman feels like her Human Rights are being violated because her birth choices are not being fully supported, she could use the power of the law to protect those rights. With the release of Freedom For Birth, we hope millions of women become aware of their legal rights and so our film has the potential to spark a revolution in maternity care across the world. In fact, we are calling this the Mothers’ Revolution.”
Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), says,
“A safe childbirth should be a fundamental human right for women. Sadly, for many, many millions of women and their babies across the world this is not the case. The world is desperately short of the people who can help to ensure and deliver this human right; midwives. There is a real need for leaders of nations to invest in midwifery care in their countries. I hope that the making of this film which the RCM is supporting with a screening will go a long way to help make skilled maternity care a reality for those women who currently do not have access to it.”
Lesley Page, President of the Royal College of Midwives adds,
“Too many women across the world are dying or suffering terribly because of a lack of skilled maternity care. This is unacceptable and I call on all Governments across the world to give women the right and access to safe care in pregnancy and childbirth.”
Ms. Hayes-Klein concludes, Freedom For Birth holds the answer to changing the system.
“Birth will change when women realize they have a right to meaningful support for childbirth and claim that right. Birth will change when women stand up against the abuses that are currently suffered in such high numbers and say, No More.”
Ms. Hayes-Klein will be in attendance at the September 20th, 2012 (7:00pm) screening of the film at the Portland MamaBaby Center [map] where a discussion will follow the screening. There is no fee to attend and watch the film and nurslings are welcome to join you. For the viewing of others, we ask that you arrange childcare separately for your older children.
If you have any questions about the screening or you’d like to help or get involved in the Mother’s Revolution, please send us an email or get in touch. We’ll be organizing other events – this is just the kickoff.
There are several ways to reach us:
3) Portland MamaBaby Center’s Facebook Page
And of course, there is additional information on the Freedom For Birth website, and also about the creators of the film, Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford, who are a filmmaking couple who have set up a cross-media global film project called One World Birth to provide educational videos featuring the world’s leading birth experts.
If you can’t be with us, please check to see if it is being shown near you. Unfortunately, not every screening is listed, but we hope you’ll find a place to join in and be a part of something that is moves you to feel the need to be involved, regardless of your own choices for childbirth. I see this as a women’s human rights issue – that’s something we all need to work together to change. Men will not do it for us. If we are to revolutionize our birthing system, then we (women, along with our allies) must do it ourselves!