Protecting human rights in childbirth


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

Mid-Staffs shows us why human rights matter in healthcare

6th February 2013

I am often asked why I think human rights are relevant to maternity care. As a human rights lawyer, I am quick to think the answer is obvious: the NHS is bound by the Human Rights Act just like all other public bodies and so it must respect patients’ rights. But it’s fair to say … Read more

Midwives to ask women about FGM

3rd February 2013

Interesting story yesterday about plans for midwives to ask routine questions about female genital mutilation in ante-natal appointments. Generally women will not have vaginal examinations during their pregnancies, so unless the question is asked (and answered honestly) it’s impossible to know whether they have suffered FGM until they are examined during or after childbirth. It’s … Read more

A great launch party

1st February 2013

It’s been a week since our launch and we’ve hardly had time to take breath, or write a post about it! Here’s a summary and some photos. Last Thursday, more than 120 key figures from the maternity services, including representatives from the Royal College of Midwives, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal … Read more

Welcome to Birthrights!

24th January 2013

Welcome to Birthrights! We are a new organisation dedicated to improving women’s experiences of pregnancy and childbirth by promoting respect for human rights. We officially launch today with this exciting new website, providing clear and accessible information on human rights and the law in pregnancy and childbirth. Check out our FAQs and our factsheets. Birthrights … Read more

US research reveals widespread mistreatment of pregnant women

16th January 2013

A study just published in the USA finds horrifying mistreatment of pregnant women based on misguided application of ‘pro-life’ laws. The groundbreaking research reveals how attempts to create a separate legal entity for fetuses have led to arrests, detentions, and forced medical interventions on pregnant women. Co-authored by Lynn Paltrow at National Advocates for Pregnant … Read more

Shocking report into use of force on pregnant immigration detainees

14th January 2013

The Guardian has reported today on the UK Borders Agency refusal to stop its security contractors (the notorious G4S) using force to remove pregnant women from the UK. Pregnant women have reported being mistreated by G4S staff – including being pushed in the stomach and dragged around the floor. The Prison Inspectorate reported on mistreatment … Read more

Birthrights on Woman's Hour!

14th January 2013

Birthrights featured on Woman’s Hour today discussing respecting women’s choices in childbirth. Elizabeth Prochaska, Birthrights founder and board member, was interviewed by Jenny Garvey with Daghni Rajasingam, consultant obstetrician and spokesperson for RCOG. You can listen here.

High Court decision on mental capacity of pregnant women

10th January 2013

Pregnant women with severe learning difficulties “may very well retain capacity to make deeply personal decisions about their own medical care”. A great decision from Mr Justice Hedley sitting in the Court of Protection. The woman, who is unnamed for legal reasons, has very severe learning difficulties and is said to be in the bottom … Read more

Birthrights in the Observer!

16th December 2012

Birthrights front and centre in this Observer feature about human rights in childbirth. Birthrights founder, Elizabeth Prochaska, quoted.

Premiere screening of Freedom for Birth – Rio Cinema, Dalston

27th August 2012

Birthrights is co-hosting a free screening of this exciting new documentary about human rights in childbirth. It will be held at the Rio Cinema, Dalston, at 6.15pm on 20 September 2012. You can see a trailer for the film featuring Birthrights lawyer, Elizabeth Prochaska, here. For more information, visit www.freedomforbirth.com.