It has been a year since I dove into childbirth activism with my live online home birth of Oziah. (His birthday is tomorrow!)
I hadn’t thought of my decision to birth live as a “social activist moment”, as my dear friend and midwife Betty-Anne Daviss would call it. I simply wanted to show women their potential in childbirth. I wanted people to see, with their own eyes, just how empowering and peaceful an undisturbed birth could be. I wanted people to see that what happens to women giving birth on TV, movies, and in most hospitals is not because that what birth looks like, that is what the system around birth has created.
Today I have great news. We are going to change that system!
Over the past year I have been volunteering with the informed choice coalition to organize the CHOICE: A Birth and Baby Film Festival.
The CHOICE Film Festival is all about women learning about their choices in childbirth. Through this festival we hoped to create a dialogue about what is possible in childbirth and how to fix what is happening in birth today. Our current birth practices have developed into a system that is routinely abusing and assaulting women and violating their rights. These violations are so ingrained into the fabric of our ideas of birth that they most often go unrecognized as trauma and just accepted as part of the cross we have to bare as women to have a baby.
Today we begin changing that! I have been moderating the panel discussions we have after each film. This has been the best part of the festival as we have been able to share ideas on how we can protect the next set of birthing women. As a result of the Freedom for Birth film screening and a wonderful lawyer who sat on our panel, we now have a group of lawyers who are willing to move forward to changing the human rights violations that Canadian women are experiencing today in birth.
Every women has has the right to choice in childbirth but most are not often given that right.