By now we are all aware of the proposal by ACT Health that pregnant women in the ACT should be allocated their birthing hospital depending on their postcode – Calvary for the North, TCH for the South. The new facilities at TCH are reaching capacity – they are state of the art and give women the option to have a water birth, and there is of course the NICU.
Sorry-not-sorry: didn’t we ALL help pay for TCH’s new facilities through our taxes? Why would some women then be told they are not allowed to use it? This is ridiculous and I can hardly believe it is happening.
A very long and amusing facebook thread has opened up with mums debating which is better and why. Mums have asked; if TCH is at capacity due to the excellent facilities, instead of this postcode model, shouldn’t we be looking at how Calvary can improve? But the thing is, it doesn’t matter which is better. All that matters is that women have the right to chose. I was one of those mums who snuck over the border to Queanbeyan for my birth, and IT WAS MY CHOICE to do that. Yay for me. And another mum decided to birth at Calvary. Yay again! And a different mum chose TCH. Yay for her too! Other mums decide to birth at home. Yay for them! IT IS THEIR CHOICE.
This issue is much more deep seeded though. It is about the ongoing disempowerment of women when it comes to birth. What the government does not seem to be aware of, is that women are the experts at their own births and bodies, and a woman who has rights and choice and empowerment when it comes to her birth, will have a much more positive birth, with less interventions. Taking away her right to chose will be a very sad day for ACT Health system.