PROPOSED laws which would stop mothers from accessing registered midwives for homebirths would jeopardise the health of thousands of women and babies, a peak maternity group says.
... Under the draft laws, midwives must be insured to join the register but private insurers no longer provide cover for homebirthing and the Federal Government has also refused to subsidise professional indemnity for homebirth claims.
HA secretary Justine Caines said the draft laws effectively stop registered midwives legally attending home births.
"The national registration requirement is absolutely appropriate," she told a Senate inquiry into the legislation.
"What is not appropriate has been the (Health Minister Nicola Roxon's) response to say ...'I will enable the funding of one-to-one midwifery care through Medicare for midwives who care for women birthing in the hospital system, but I won't do it for homebirth'." Related Coverage
... Australian Greens senator Rachel Siewert said draft laws effectively rendered homebirths illegal.
"Where there is a low-risk pregnancy it is safe to have a home birth and women and families need to be able to have that choice," she said.
The Greens will seek to amend the bills to ensure homebirthing with registered midwives remains an option for women in Australia.