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Protecting human rights in childbirth

Birthrights’ responds to article published in The Sunday Times

Yesterday, The Sunday Times published an article containing criticisms of Birthrights by the author Milli Hill. Until recently, Birthrights has worked alongside Milli to champion women’s rights in pregnancy and childbirth.

As reported, in November Milli posted comments on social media disputing that obstetric violence could happen to trans or non-binary people. We were also made aware of multiple posts by Milli that publicly questioned or undermined trans and non-binary’s people’s identities online, which were causing considerable distress among the LGBTQ community.

Birthrights contacted Milli privately to explain that this behaviour was at odds with our commitment to inclusion as a human rights charity. We made clear that this was not about people holding a different view on the subject, but about respectful behaviour in public forums and the hurt that can be caused through language and actions. 

We did not call her out in public or refer to her comments in any public forum. All our direct communications with her were professional and respectful. When Milli expressed her concern about our communications with her, we invited her to make a complaint through our independent complaints process. She chose not to take this route.

As a human rights charity, Birthrights believes that taking an inclusive approach which respects pregnant non-binary and trans people does not diminish women’s rights. We want everyone to feel welcome and safe in the birth movement and will continue to speak about both women and birthing people in our work.

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