Women aim birthing protest at PM

MORE than 20 women gathered at Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker’s office to tell Kevin Rudd they have the right to choose when it comes to childbirth yesterday.

Women and young children were at the Federal member’s office in Little Street for an hour listening to birthing stories and a midwife discuss women’s rights.

“We won’t be denied our rights as birthing women,” local rally organiser Jessica Nash said.

At 14 locations across Australia women rallied to support their right to make their own decisions about healthcare.

Their message to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was ‘our bodies, our babies, our rights. Childbirth decisions belong with us not the PM’.

The maternity advocate Justine Caines said that the reforms looked promising, finally funding midwives through Medicare had the capacity to reduce the Medicare Safety-Net blow out, largely led by obstetricians, improve services for rural and remote women and, importantly, reduce unnecessary interventions in childbirth.

“In the past 12 months the Australian Medical Association has worked furiously to maintain control of the maternity health system. Instead of listening to women and putting their needs first, Health Minister Nicola Roxon and Prime Minister Rudd, have buckled and agreed to remove a woman’s rights in favour of a ‘doctor veto’,” Ms Caines said.

The Coffs Harbour rally was held at Mr Hartsuyker’s office because the women wanted his Federal support.

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