Protecting human rights in childbirth

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We raise awareness of the rights issues women face through the media and online.
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Update: Birthrights and Leigh Day legal challenge calling for urgent release of the MBRRACE report

6th December 2019

Last week, Birthrights challenged NHS England’s decision not to publish the annual maternity care MBRRACE report until after the election. We received a response from NHS England’s lawyers stating they would reply substantively to our concerns within 14 days (by 10 December) and intend to publish the report on 13 December. Our solicitors, Leigh Day, … Read more

Birthrights challenges government’s decision not to publish maternity care report

27th November 2019

Birthrights are challenging NHS England’s decision not to publish a report on maternity care, known as the MBRRACE report, until after the election.  Birthrights, a charity that promotes human rights in maternity care, argues that the MBRRACE report ‘Saving Lives, Improving Mothers’ Care’ should be published before the election as it is an impartial and … Read more

The Realities of Seeking Asylum in the UK as a Pregnant Woman

26th November 2019

In June, Birthrights and Birth Companions published ‘Holding it all together’, our report into the human rights issues experienced by women facing disadvantage. Our research found that women who were asylum seekers had worse experiences of care than other women facing disadvantage, often describing care as functional rather than supportive. Women told us about living … Read more

Shrewsbury and Telford – when human rights centred care is the only answer…

20th November 2019

No-one could fail to be moved by the recent picture in the news of Rhiannon Davies and her beautiful baby Kate, who sadly died after being born at Ludlow Community Hospital in 2009, and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to Rhiannon, her partner Richard and all those families affected by poor maternity care at Shrewsbury … Read more

Birthrights appoints interim Chief Executive (maternity cover)

11th November 2019

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Angela Style as interim Chief Executive, to cover Amy Gibbs’ upcoming maternity leave. Angela will join the team on 2 December and lead Birthrights until Amy returns to work in early September 2020. Angela has over 20 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, working for organisations including Diabetes … Read more

Birthrights’ concerns about mental capacity and human rights in maternity care

8th November 2019

In recent months, the Court of Protection has ruled on a number of cases permitting doctors to carry out Caesarean sections on women against their wishes, either because they lack capacity to make the decision for themselves, or because their healthcare providers are worried that they might lose capacity during labour. In one recent case … Read more

Council of Europe passes motion on obstetric and gynaecological violence

16th October 2019

We welcome the motion passed earlier this month by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calling on all member states (including the UK) to address obstetric and gynaecological violence . The motion includes ensuring maternity care respects human rights, appropriate training for staff, passing legislation on informed consent (where not in place already), … Read more

Birthrights and Irwin Mitchell announce three-year partnership to promote women’s human rights in childbirth

1st October 2019

Birthrights, the UK’s human rights in childbirth charity, and Irwin Mitchell, one of the largest law firms in the UK, have announced a new partnership over three years. The new agreement includes a package of corporate funding, pro bono advice, practical in-kind help with publications and events, and support for Birthrights’ projects, research and campaigns, … Read more

Birthrights names Nadine Montgomery as charity’s first Patron

19th September 2019

Birthrights is delighted to announce Nadine Montgomery as our first ever Patron. As a public ambassador for Birthrights, Nadine will continue her work to champion women’s autonomy and consent in childbirth, supporting our communications and campaigns, training for healthcare professional and high-level events. See our press release for more information. In 2015, the Montgomery v … Read more

Why we need to have more honest conversations with women about how birth might unfold…

16th September 2019

The National Maternity and Perinatal Audit (NMPA) clinical report 2019 was published last week and it makes for intriguing reading. For us at Birthrights, the report starts to provide some answers to questions we have been interested in for some time, for instance – is the focus on reducing the stillbirth rate driving up intervention … Read more