Simple Bounty

Finding Beauty, Grace and Sanity in a Busy World

ACOG Wants To Ban Homebirth August 6, 2008

Filed under: Current Events,Politics,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 10:45 pm

This really makes my blood boil. If you know much of anything about childbirth and the politics that go along with it, you know that ACOG is pretty hostile to certified professional midwives and homebirth. But now, with support from the AMA, they are actually planning to draw up legislation in hopes of making homebirth illegal.

From ABC news:

The American Medical Association has agreed to support proposed legislation that, some physicians say, could make make having a planned birth in one’s home difficult, to virtually impossible.

As of now, no actual legislation has been drawn up, but the AMA has agreed to back a measure called “Resolution 205,” a request to support the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) position that home births are not safe.

“We are against home births, period,” said Gregory Phillips, an ACOG spokesman.

Women who give birth outside of a clinical setting risk putting themselves and their newborns at risk, Phillips told

In an e-mail to, AMA board member Steven Stack, MD, wrote that the AMA “stresses that the safest setting for delivering a baby is in the hospital or a birthing center within a hospital complex.”

It’s nice that ACOG makes such statements as though they are fact without even bothering to provide evidence to support their assertions. They are not even speaking truth. What arrogance. But of course, if one doesn’t know otherwise, and a medical professional makes such a statement, he is believed; no questions asked. Ask most people, and they will say the same: homebirth is dangerous and unwise. Yet it’s simply not true.

The most thorough study done on the outcomes of homebirth in North America shows that homebirth is associated with similar intrapartum and neonatal mortality to that of low risk hospital births, and has much lower rates of medical intervention.

Instead of attacking midwives and the threatening the constitutional rights of women and families for self-serving purposes, ACOG should be taking a serious look at what is going wrong with childbirth in American hospitals and focusing their energy on fixing it. When one third of births end in major abdominal surgery, something is wrong. When the United States is ranked 41st in maternal mortality, something is wrong. When the United States has the second worst newborn death rate in the modern world, something is wrong. Something is wrong, and it’s not homebirth.


One Response to “ACOG Wants To Ban Homebirth”

  1. Dear Katie,

    Thank you for your post. We’re building a large, thriving and powerful homebirth community over at Indie Birth. You are welcome to visit any time.

    Please help spread the word:

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