Protecting human rights in childbirth


We raise awareness of the rights issues women face through the media and online.
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Latest News

BLOG: Agoraphobia and mental capacity – a new obstetric intervention case

7th April 2021

Last week, a recent Court of Protection case involving a woman with agoraphobia was reported in the media. The woman, known as GH, had been in labour at home for nearly 72 hours and the ruling describes her labour as having become “obstructed”. The case was heard as an emergency out of hours hearing. The … Read more

“Visiting restrictions are no longer justified” says Birthrights and partners

6th April 2021

Birthrights and the But Not Maternity Alliance partners have written to both Matthew Hancock and NHS England setting out the need for a roadmap to guide maternity services back to normal visiting arrangements, in line with the roadmap for relaxing restrictions in other areas of life. Birthrights and its #butnotmaternity partners are keen to avoid … Read more

Birthrights and Bolt Burdon Kemp announce three-year partnership to promote human rights in childbirth

4th March 2021

We are pleased to confirm a new three-year partnership with Bolt Burdon Kemp, a law firm specialising in serious injury claims, which builds on our shared goals to protect rights and improve safety in maternity care. The partnership includes a package of corporate financial support, fundraising activity, pro bono and in-kind support, and joint communications … Read more

Oxford University Hospitals finally agree to offer maternal request caesareans…

2nd March 2021

Birthrights are delighted to share that Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH) will offer maternal request caesareans at the John Radcliffe hospital going forward. Elizabeth Prochaska and Maria Booker from Birthrights met with Sir Jonathan Montgomery (Chair of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, OUH) and Professor Meghana Pandit (Chief Medical Officer, OUH) on the … Read more

Wrong to say birth partners and parents of sick babies must always self isolate say lawyers

12th February 2021

Birthrights has today published legal advice, which states that requiring a partner or new parent to self-isolate may be unlawful in certain circumstances. We have written to NHS England & Improvement, asking them to correct the paragraphs in their visiting guidance for maternity services which suggest that partners or new parents should always be asked … Read more

New inquiry to drive action on racial injustice in maternity care

7th February 2021

We are convening a national inquiry into racial injustice in maternity care, throughout 2021, with support from law firm Leigh Day. The inquiry will be led by an expert panel made up of Black and Brown people with lived experience, midwives and obstetricians, healthcare and human rights lawyers, and other experts across academia, anti-racism, health policy and participation. … Read more

Keeping in touch

4th February 2021

Women have told us that how Trusts communicate with them about changes to maternity services can be as important as the changes themselves. In this guest blog, Sally Talbot shares what the maternity team at South Warwickshire Foundation Trust have done to communicate effectively with both women/birthing people and staff during the pandemic…. We are … Read more


1st February 2021

The #BasicBirthRights campaign seeks to raise awareness of the absolute rights women and birthing people have in maternity care

Partners should be able to join maternity scans remotely say lawyers

31st January 2021

Birthrights has received legal advice stating that Trusts which prevent partners from attending scans, and don’t allow partners to be involved in the appointment remotely, may be acting unlawfully and unreasonably.

Birthrights is growing! New part-time Engagement Director and Training Officer roles (deadline 8 Feb)

22nd January 2021

Thanks to new funding from Thirty Percy and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, we are thrilled to be adding two new roles to our small but mighty team. We need a creative, inspiring communicator and leader to be our first ever Engagement Director. You will head up a new engagement team, working alongside the Programmes Director who … Read more