*Controversial blog post- here we go!
Today I had an English lesson with a young Hungarian man. We were discussing some common ethical dilemmas in this day and age, and I brought up the issue of home birth in Hungary. I asked him if he thought women should get to choose whether or not they would like to have a home birth, and he said “No, it’s not safe.” Interesting. However, seconds earlier, he thought that women should definitely get an abortion if they are too young to support a child. So, he is all about selective women’s rights. Women can choose to murder their unborn child if it’s before 12 weeks, but after that the government decides where they must have their child because it could potentially be unsafe. Anyone else see the contradiction here?
Here is a video about home birth in Hungary. Just like in many states in the U.S., home births have limited legality in Hungary. In other words, the government says home birth is legal, but they will not license anyone to legally assist a woman who wants to have a home birth. Therefore, she must either have a home birth unassisted, or someone must help her who is a trained midwife, but not licensed to practice. As you can imagine, this causes all sorts of complications.
In Holland, one third of all babies are born at home. Interestingly, Holland has a lower infant mortality rate than both the U.S. and Hungary.
I think that in a low-risk, uncomplicated pregnancy, with emergency medical care within 20 minutes, and a trained midwife (midwifes are trained in infant resuscitation, perineal suturing, should dystocia, and more) delivering the child, a woman should most definitely have the right to choose to have her baby at home. Under those circumstances, statistically a home birth is extremely safe.