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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 29 November, 2014

Choice Ireland ‘disappointed’ at High Court ruling on home births

The pro-choice group has said the ruling is a setback for women’s rights in Ireland.

Woman having a home birth
Woman having a home birth

THE PRO-CHOICE group, Choice Ireland has expressed its disappointment at the High Court ruling against a pregnant woman who wants to have a home birth with a midwife contracted to the HSE.

Aja Teehan, who is 31 weeks pregnant asked the High Court for a judicial review of her case.

She had applied to the Health Service Executive (HSE) to have a home birth with a self-employed community midwife (SECM) for her second child. However, the HSE told her that she could not have an assisted home birth because she had previously had a caesarean section with her fist child.

Women’s rights

Spokesperson for Choice Ireland, Sinéad Ahern said that the judgment is a “setback for women’s rights to autonomy in their childbearing decisions”.

She said that Aja Teehan was clearly fully informed of the statistically low risk involved with a home birth, and said she and her family had the right to choose what treatment she availed of. She added that it is disappointing that the court deferred to the HSE’s “unjustified blanket policy”.

Stephanie Lord from Choice Ireland said that the decision made today could mean that some women choose to give birth at home unassisted or they may be forced to travel to England where assisted home birth after caesarean is allowed. She said:

It seems Ireland has learned nothing from its mishandling of the abortion issue, and still wishes to export women or force them to take their reproductive matters into their own hands, instead of providing them the care that they need.

Read: Pregnant woman’s home birth application case denied>

Despite refusal, home birth case a “worthwhile fight”>

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