When homebirth becomes a crime

When homebirth becomes a crime - full story

Sunday July 14, 2013

Reporter: PJ Madam
Producer: Lisa Ryan

CLICK HERE for story transcript.

The birth of a child should be one of the happiest and most memorable moments in a woman’s life. But across Australia, family homes have been turned into crime scenes when women who have opted for homebirths experience complications.

Police arrive with the ambulance, evidence is seized and parents find themselves under investigation. The decision to give birth at home could even land parents in jail.

In this major Sunday Night report we meet several mums whose choices resulted in tragedy, and the notorious midwife who has been present at five homebirths that have ended in death.

The controversy over the risk of homebirths has made headlines around the world, but only now will you see inside the homes of these distraught Australian parents and hear the heartbreaking Triple-O calls as mothers and their babies have experienced complications without full medical care at hand.

Find out why, despite the dangers and coronial inquiries, so many Australian women still passionately argue it is their right to have a home birth over a hospital delivery.

It’s a story that will divide the country – does the mother’s right to choose where and how she gives birth come before the baby’s right to enter the world in a safe environment, with the best medical care at hand?


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