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Official Position Page

Official Statement on Women’s Right to Choice of Birth Attendant and Location

BirthAction is a consumer organization seeking protections for a woman’s right to choice of attendant and/or location. BirthAction believes that a woman is the final authority and arbiter of information regarding her pregnancy, birth and the care of her infant. We defend a woman’s right to have as little oversight as possible while encouraging providers to offer access to quality, balanced, informed and respectful care when a woman chooses to access such care. This means that we believe that women have the right to unassisted births as well as chosen providers such as direct-entry, lay, licensed, certified professional, and certified nurse midwives as well as family practitioners and obstetricians. Only she is capable of choosing a provider that would adequately address her needs for pregnancy and birth and restrictions of these choices through insurance, employer, state or federal regulation is harmful to the process of making informed, trusting decisions by an autonomous adult.

At this time, no state has issued legal protection for a woman’s right to autonomously choose birth location, choice of attendant, or the right to refuse professional attendance at their birth.

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