#Human Rights
Hon. Patrice K. Minors J.P. M.P., Minister of Health and Family Services, Bermuda

October 16, 2004

At present, Bermuda has no infrastructure in place to support home births or birthing center births.

All the Island's Obstetricians have explicitly stated their preference for hospital births and discourage home births. As a result Midwives do not have the requisite Obstetrician support to perform home births.

Midwives are not permitted to administer pregnancies or perform deliveries on their own in the hospital.

The Maternity ward at the hospital is very much like any other ward. It is very clinical and has no bathtubs, resting facilities for family members (except a waiting room area with chairs), and very small birthing rooms - limiting the number of people who are allowed to witness the birth. No alternatives to medication for pain-relief are available.

We, the undersigned, petition for the rights of every woman living in Bermuda.

As intelligent, sensible individuals, living in a diverse and democratic society, we firmly believe that it is every woman's right to choose the most comfortable, safe and supportive environment for her birth. Women have the right to more birthing choices in Bermuda, which will ensure more babies being born in an environment free of fear, anxiety or trauma.

Women in Bermuda demand the right to:

1. Choose between a hospital, home or birthing center birth, all of which should be covered by health insurance;

2. Choose to have a Midwife-led pregnancy and delivery, which should also be covered by health insurance;

3. A more comfortable, home-like setting at the hospital (following global trends), which should include bathtubs, sleeping facilities for spouses, and an increased number of persons able to attend the birth if so desired.

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The Petition for the Rights of Childbearing Women in Bermuda petition to Hon. Patrice K. Minors J.P. M.P., Minister of Health and Family Services, Bermuda was written by Citizens for Better Births and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.