The Skeptical OB: Coroner: Homebirth deaths at Lisa Barrett’s hands were entirely preventable

From a feminist standpoint, this is a tricky issue:  Women should have wide-ranging freedom with respect to how they give birth.

But there are some dangerous practitioners out there that, let’s be honest, endanger babies.

Lisa Barrett has done more to strengthen regulation of homebirth than homebirth opponents ever could have managed; she has convincingly demonstrated the dangers of homebirth, the irresponsibility of many homebirth midwives, and their preference for myth over scientific evidence.

The Skeptical OB: Coroner: Homebirth deaths at Lisa Barrett’s hands were entirely preventable.


Filed under Feminism

2 responses to “The Skeptical OB: Coroner: Homebirth deaths at Lisa Barrett’s hands were entirely preventable

  1. ana74x

    Glad to hear from more women who understand that home birth IS a feminist issue.

  2. Thanks for the comment. First off, you should probably know that I am a man who understands that home birth is a feminist issue. 🙂

    I read your post “The Right Choice?” and found it interesting and thoughtful. But I think we may have some significant disagreement.

    So I agree that birth freedom is definitely a feminist issue for basically the same reason that you mentioned. Everyone has (a very close to) absolute right to decide what happens to their own body.

    My worry is that there is a lot of misinformation out there about the safety of some of these practices. I think you would agree with this because you mentioned the importance of having a midwife who is trained specifically for HB.

    But I’ve become convinced that HB is significantly more dangerous to the infant than giving birth in a hospital – at least in the US. (The chances of the baby dying are roughly tripled if the baby is born at home.)

    You also mentioned the Netherlands. The data that I’ve seen about their system is quite a bit more troubling than the impression that you have of the Dutch situation. I am fully open to the possibility that I have bad data, so I would welcome any info you have.

    At any rate, it’s definitely a feminist issue, but I fear that women are unknowingly putting their babies at unnecessary risk.

    As always my opinions are open to revision, so I invite you to comment again.

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