Monday, March 15, 2010
1:16 PM | Edit Post
(a guest-post by MO Mama)
Missouri has many wonderful attributes, such as beautiful, lush landscapes that highlight the four seasons, more rivers than imaginable, and incredibly friendly home school laws.
Until recently, however, Missouri was stuck in the dark ages as far as midwifery was concerned. While we were ranked significantly higher than the national average 2005-2006 for home births, until 2008 a midwife caught practicing was considered a FELON in the eyes of the law.
I feel fortunate to have been a tiny part in that change. I also feel fortunate that any illusions I had about equality were swiftly smashed and stomped upon. One prominent memory from the Capitol is my friend asking a representative who was opposed to midwifery: “What about the woman's right? Don't you believe in women rights?” His response was, “I'm for some women rights.”
That is the general consensus I get across the board, especially when discussing my right to have my baby in a setting of my choosing. The decision of where and with whom to give birth can't be left up to a silly woman! Women don't know enough about their own bodies, childbirth, etc. to make a competent decision. Instead, we need legislators to make laws to protect us from our own stupidity and doctors to save us from the dangerous medical condition they believe pregnancy/birth to be.
Indulge me for a bit while I point out the flaws in this logic.
1. I am not an idiot just because I am a pregnant woman. Sure, there are dumb pregnant women but there are also dumb middle-aged male legislators. This doesn't mean I should swoop in and tell them how to do their jobs. (Although, if you're reading this Mike Talboy, I do have some ideas) I have yet to meet a pregnant woman who didn't want the absolute best for her baby. Most women have taken the time to read at least a book or two as well as ask questions by the time they've completed the first trimester. In the case of homebirthers, research on the safety, which repeatedly has shown planned home birth with a midwife is as safe as a planned hospital birth for a normal, low risk pregnancy, is almost always conducted prior to the decision.
2. No one has the right to tell me what to do with my own body. I can't help but notice there are very few (if any?) laws governing what men can and can't do with their bodies. Am I less an autonomous person because I grow life inside me? I think not!
3. When discussing any issue, I feel that you should only comment if you have personal experience. If not, shut up. Last time I checked, men do NOT have fallopian tubes, a uterus, or a vagina. That said, they have no bearing in conversations, laws, or anything really, that has to do with those parts. If I want to have my baby in the backyard standing on my head while my neighbor looks on, it's really none of your business. When you do grow a uterus and carry, then give birth to, a baby...look me up. Until then, leave my uterus alone.
By MO Mama, Passionate and intense doula, aspiring midwife, woman activist who speaks her mind and occasionally sticks her foot in her mouth.
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- ▼ March (15)