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Rights as a Childbearing Woman

Information has come to light recently that new moms, birth partners and their babies are being coerced, or even threatened into compliance with certain state medical board mandates by members of their local medical community. We’ve heard of stories where new parents are ‘challenged’ by medical authorities when voicing their preferences for their own treatment during childbirth, or their baby’s treatment (or lack of treatment) during the immediate postpartum period. This is distressing to many of us who are entrusted with women’s education about such matters.
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Please learn about your rights by reading the “Rights of Childbearing Women” brochure from Childbirth Connection. It outlines a set of basic maternity rights that Childbirth Connection has identified and promotes for all childbearing women. It applies widely accepted human rights to the specific situation of maternity care. Although most of these rights are granted to women in the United States by law, many women do not have knowledge of their maternity rights. Consideration and respect for every woman under all circumstances is the foundation of this statement of rights, available as a printed piece for educational and advocacy settings, and as a downloadable PDF.
The “Rights of Childbearing Women” brochure spells out birthing women’s personal LEGAL rights…that no state health department’s ‘mandates’, or individual hospital’s ‘protocols’, or any one MD’s opinions, or a midwife’s temerity can fly in the face of…not even with veiled threats to call CPS, or the police like they do in some states.
his is a powerful tool for you.

If you know your LEGAL rights, and insist on them, CPS and even the police are rendered impotent in court. The more you are educated and empowered and insist on your LEGAL rights as childbearing women and as new parents, the less likely you will have them taken from you.

State mandated protocols about what is medically ‘safe’ and ‘necessary’ have been ‘wrong’ very many times in the past, and mothers and their babies have been harmed. For that reason, it’s important that PARENTS understand that YOU have the LEGAL right to the final say about how you give birth to your baby, and the right to make all decisions in your baby’s treatment during the immediate postpartum period.

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