Justine Caines with her twin daughters Majella and Rosie at their home in Scone - Muswellbrook Hospital has said she can t have a home birth despite clearance from experts

Justine Caines with her twin daughters Majella and Rosie at their home in Scone - Muswellbrook Hospital has said she can't have a home birth despite clearance from experts.

Homebirth Australia (HA) is angry about a suite of bills the Federal Government introduced to Parliament in June.

They propose, among other things, to establish a national midwifery register.

Ms Caines said Labor's legislation was putting woman in great danger and telling them their rights did not matter 

Under the draft laws, midwives must be insured to join the register - but private insurers no longer provide cover for births at home and the Federal Government has also refused to subsidise professional indemnity for home birth claims.

HA secretary Justine Caines said the draft laws effectively stop registered midwives legally attending home births.

"The national registration requirement is absolutely appropriate," she told a Senate inquiry into the legislation yesterday.
"What is not appropriate has been the [Health Minister Nicola Roxon's] response to say . . . 'I will enable the funding of one-to-one midwifery care through Medicare for midwives who care for women birthing in the hospital system, but I won't do it for home birth'."

Ms Caines gave the Government the benefit of the doubt, saying any discrimination against home birthing was an unintended consequence of the registration process.

"What [Ms Roxon] has done is made a giant step forward and been too scared to take the next step because of medical objection, because of the power of the medical lobby," she said.

The Australian Medical Association has previously spoken out against home birthing, saying it is significantly more dangerous than giving birth in a hospital.

But Ms Caines said Labor's legislation was putting woman in great danger and telling them their rights did not matter.
The Greens will seek to amend the bills to ensure home birthing with registered midwives remains an option for women in Australia.

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