Protecting human rights in childbirth

UK Supreme Court upholds women's autonomy in childbirth: Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board

The UK Supreme Court powerfully affirmed women’s right to autonomy in childbirth yesterday in the case of Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board. Allowing the appeal from the Scottish courts by a woman whose baby suffered shoulder dystocia in labour, the Supreme Court held that women have a right to information about ‘any material risk‘ in … Read more

Kirkup Report: Inhuman healthcare

The Kirkup Report was published this week. It catalogues the failings in the maternity unit at Morecambe Bay between 2004-2013, when clinical errors contributed to the deaths of 3 mothers and 16 babies. As the Report acknowledges, healthcare professionals can be expected to make mistakes, but in Morecambe Bay, like Mid-Staffordshire and Queen’s Hospital Romford … Read more

Birthrights joins nearly 120,000 voices calling for buffer zones around abortion clinics

Birthrights co-chair Rebecca Schiller will join Erika Garrett, Caroline Lucas MP, Dr Clare Gerada (GP and past Chair of Royal College of GPs), representatives from the British Humanists Association, Brook, and Reclaim Rossyln Road residents association to deliver this change.org petition to 10 Downing Street at 2pm on Wednesday 4 March.   The petition was started by Erika Garrett after … Read more

Join Our Board!

Birthrights is seeking two maternity professionals – one midwife and one obstetrician – to join its board of trustees. In its first two years of operation, Birthrights has achieved a reputation for high-­quality advice and training, ground-­breaking research on dignity principles in maternity care, and legal interventions in controversial cases affecting women’s rights. We regularly … Read more

Birthrights Comments on Sex-Selection Abortion Amendment

Press Release: 19 February 2015 The human rights in childbirth charity Birthrights has serious concerns about amendments to the Serious Crimes bill that could make sex-selection abortion a crime. If passed the amendment to the Serious Crimes Bill (which MPs are due to vote on on Monday 23 February) could lead to a woman who has been pressurised in to … Read more

Birthrights Condemns Guilty Verdict in Purvi Patel Case

Press Release 4 February 2015 Women’s charity condemns guilty verdict as Indiana woman is charged with ‘feticide’ and child neglect. The jury in a landmark case in Indiana has found Purvi Patel guilty of two contradictory charges of ‘feticide’ and child neglect. Despite widespread condemnation of the case by legal experts, health organisations and human rights activists, … Read more

Dubska v Czech Republic: A blow to women's reproductive rights in Europe

The European Court of Human Rights gave judgment in Dubská v Czech Republic last week. The Court found that Czech legislation prohibiting midwives attendance at home births did not interfere with women’s right to private life under Article 8 of the European Convention. The decision came as a surprise to maternity professionals and campaigners across … Read more

Hearing today in Foetal Alcohol Syndrome case

The Court of Appeal hears the case of CP v Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority today. It will be considering whether consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can constitute the crime of poisoning. Birthrights and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) have provided written submissions to the Court to highlight the serious potential consequences for women’s health and … Read more

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