Freedom For Birth campaign video


The freedom in a country can be measured by the freedom of birth Agnes Gereb, Budapest Hungary May 2012 18 months ago we began filming for One World Birth. We were in Strasbourg, France and we first heard of a midwife who had been arrested and imprisoned in Hungary. Her name was Agnes Gereb. I think about Agnes Gereb with love. I would say that Agi is my hero. Agnes Gereb is the most wonderful person I have ever met. She is definitely a pioneer. What she is doing is really important. I feel that she is fighting for me. She is fighting for my child. She is fighting for all of us. She is like Joan of Arc. She is a big fighter. She did a lot. What she did during these 22 years for us, for the mothers is just beautiful and makes me cry. Day 500 of Agnes’ imprisonment and house arrest. Agnes is a midwife based in Budapest in Hungary. She has performed over 3,000 homebirths and has been helping the women of Hungary exercise their right to choose how and where to give for many years. As a result she’s been persecuted by the Hungarian authorities who outlawed homebirth many years ago and who have refused persistently to make it legal and to recognise women’s rights. As a result, Agnes has been criminally prosecuted for assisting women giving birth at home. Every country needs to quit harrassing its
homebirth moms and parents and those midwives and physicians who feel inclined to help homebirth. There are midwives all over the world who are being victimized, jailed, fined Yes, there is a general witchhunt against midwives Agi Konyve – it means this book is for me. I got it in the prison. And I was so moved because… these are letters from women who gave birth with me and pictures… As a UK lawyer meeting Agnes and listening
to the Court of Appeal verdict in Budapest I felt very appalled and shocked that a fellow EU member state could treat one its citizens so abysmally and unfairly I feel very angryy about the way she has been treated I feel very upset about the way she has been treated But I remain very hopeful that she will get justice eventually in Hungary. I’m just keen that that happens as soon as is humanly possible. The reason why we are drawn to Agnes’ story
and the reason why this film has to be made right now is because Agnes’ story epitomises the very worst
of what is happening with birth today. We are making a documentary film about
the story of birth today. It is a film about how birth has been stolen
by a powerful institutionalised system that is born of fear. A system that inherently believes that birth is dangerous
and must be managed and controlled by modern technology. The rhythm of childbirth is nothing that fits within the sort
of hospital environment and hospital business
that goes on at the moment. And yet what we are doing is advising all women
to give birth in hospital. The issues have nothing to do with safety at all. The issues are to do with power. The power of big institutions like hospitals
and the whole medical system takes over and this is why it is a matter of human rights. We’ve made birth a profit-making industry. And the more fear that is there,
the more greed and ignorance are also magnified. And when you put fear, greed and ignorance
together you’ve got a really dangerous combination. That fear is introduced often into the discussion and the provider who is introducing that
maybe doing it from a different perspective either fear of litigation themselves,
afraid to have a certain outcome worrying about what their peers would say about them
and things like that. But when they direct their care to that patient
it causes them to do things that the patient
might not want to do. The vast majority who practise
in when I call a “technocratic” model of medicine where it is about treating the body as if it were a machine
and birth is a dysfunctional mechanical process and you use every intervention in the book
just to get the baby out because you don’t trust
the normal physiology of birth. So doctors don’t encourage women to trust their bodies
or trust their babies or trust the birth process because doctors themselves don’t trust it. And all those interventions just really contribute
to why women have higher c-section rates, higher operative vaginal deliveries,
you know, forceps and vacuum just because we are not letting their bodies do
what it’s supposed to do. A woman comes into hospital healthy with nothing wrong and just because the physiology of birth is not respected this cascade of problems ensues and she ends up with a c-section she didn’t need. Women need to search for the birth experience they want. The flip side of that is that if they don’t do that
they often get the birth experience that the business of Obstetrics and Gynaecology has turned into. Our society is almost oblivious to this incredible
travesty that happens to women. It is an abuse of women. It is no less than abuse of women. It is a film that is also the story
of a movement that is rising up around the world. A movement that is determined to take back birth. “Who are we?” “Where’s My Midwife?” “And what do we want?” “Privileges for all” “Let’s go!” “Where’s My Midwife? Privileges for all” “Where’s My Midwife? Privileges for all” “Where’s My Midwife? Privileges for all” We’re definitely making the noise and the message that we intended. And just letting the town know kind of what’s happening and this many women and children are kind of upset as to what’s happening at the hospital I think this is amazing. The response that we’re getting even by the crowd, the cars driving by. It’s wonderful. There is hope. There are more women who are questionning this. And I think there will be a turnaround. Women need to find a voice And this can happen right across the world This is the time when we have to make our voices heard Now is really the time for action Here’s what you need to do to get the attention and to kind of gather that voice into a big strong voice I’m all the time getting evidence of the activity that’s building up the swirling committment that women have is thatwomen will take back childbirth. We shouldn’t have to fight for this. It should be something that we’re granted. It’s so simple. We all need to stand up and fight for women’s rights in childbirth because control has been taken away for far too long. And it’s so important that we take action now and we promote natural birth and we do battle where battle is needed. Let’s seize the moment and let everybody be involved in making birth better and changing the whole world of birth. Birth isn’t something we suffer but something we actively do and exalt in. Our next step We need your help in two ways Firstly we need to raise the budget to get this film finished and secondly we need your help to get this film distributed. We have to make a film that is going to send shockwaves around the world. But for maximum impact we need that film to be free. And that’s why we need your help right now. We need your help to make sure this film gets seen
by as wide and audience as possible. And for that we have a plan that involves you. We want to hold 1000 premiere screenings all around the world
on one single day this summer and we want you to hold them. We are passionate about this film. It’s the most important film about birth we’ve ever made
and probably will ever make And we just need that one final push, just your help to get us across the finishing line So that together we will take childbirth back. One World Birth’s really important film is going to fire people up get them passionate, get them talking about birth about taking back control over women’s bodies It’s the most important issue there is in human rights at the moment and One World Birth is just so well placed to do it. Please support our campaign at
oneworldbirth.net Save birth, change the world

49 thoughts on “Freedom For Birth campaign video

  • So wait. I have the right to abort my child almost everywhere, but I don't have the right to give birth in my own home if I so choose in many places. That's stupid.

  • My husband witnessed on hospital birth…my 3rd child…his 1st…and he said never again…the rest will be at home…to my surprise and fulfilling my desire. We then had 4 children at home. A family of 7 children and he proudly tells "everyone"(sometimes to my dismay-sharing the birth exp. for me is a little over the top in mixed company) that we had 4 home births. So much for dignity…hahha. Whole-heartedly support this movement of childbirth in the home and full of peace.

  • We need to get this out to the general public because it is they who will change the system. Having worked in the 'system' for over 35 yrs. it is the reason I started Birth Right, and wrote 2 books, the latest, 'Doulas', is about the beauty of birthing with a doula. I could not change the system, even though I tried, very hard, but consumers can. Fears for pregnant women are at an all time high resulting in many traumatic birth experiences. I have great results using hypnosis for birthing

  • This film will be seen in La Jolla, Ca, September 20th at Landmark Theater. Please join us from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. This will be a fundraiser for the scholarship fund of Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery, where birth matters.

  • Oh I bet it was! I hear stories from my sister and other family about their hospital births vs all I've heard from home births and family who have had home births. Big difference. A friend of mine had a C Section with her first, meds with the 2nd though it was a VBAC, then hospital natural birth with this newest one. If she has another, I'm going to really encourage her to have that one at home. Each experience was better and better for her, so I think she'd love it at home.

  • Amazing, truly amazing work, thank you, we mothers needed this video. Its time to make a difference to birthing women and babies and move away from the industrialized birth and claim back our natural right to birth at home. Thank you for all the people who are involved in this mission. video well made. xx

  • Muito bom esse documentário!! Precisamos socializar com mulheres e órgãos formadores e assistenciais da saúde.
    Este é um exemplo e estímulo à mudança de modelo obstétrico.
    Parabéns às (aos) autoras(es) desse trabalho!!

  • Actually she was not prosecuted because of promoting homebirth as one of the interviewees said, but because more than one baby died during her midwife practice.
    Just for the record!
    (Anyway, I support secure homebirth.)

  • I am sending my love thoughts, and manifestations for woman and men around the world to be given the opportunity to home birth.

  • "There is a certain issue about caesarian and "natural births " in hospitals.The issue is about money that come out of public funds and get into institutional or medical pockets.A caesarian one is presented as non-painfull for the woman,(although she has to suffer postoperative pains and needs to be hospitalized several days after) and a natural birth as really painfull, dangerous and prohibitive for a great percentage of women (although it`s a lie for more than half in my opinion)"

  • I'm with you. support homebirth, but right, this is the story. Dead babies. And I don't like when a story starts with lies… Unfortunately.

  • what is going on with you people?as somebody else already mentioned,she is not prosecuted for her ideas or whatever,BUT for causing death,by negligence of course.In every west country,anyone causing death faces the law.What exactly do you want?a unique exception across Europe for that lady?

  • Not everyone causing death faces the law. Doctors are not prosecutes when a mother or child dies. Look up the mortality rate for your country. Trust me more than 2 babies died. The u.s. has one of the highest intervention/csection rates and one of the highest mortality rates as well.

  • BIRTH is a Sacred and Holy Duty to ALL Woman on this World. GOD Himself had been sending children and their spirit, soul, personality.
    The so-called "medicine" has NO right to handle women and their babies like hospitalised personnel!!! They are NOT. Birth is NOT an illness! It is NATURAL process sent from GOD like Death.
    /If some kind of intervention is needed it can be acted via modern, technical ways at home."Modern" medicine is based upon surgery and pharmatics and electronical instruments/

  • I appreciate your point of view. As the whole film explains, the point is that sadly some babies (and mothers) do die in hospitals in childbirth, but doctors aren't criminally prosecuted or jailed for their actions. Criminal prosecution of home birth midwives is happening in many countries around the world, not just with Agnes Gereb in Hungary.

  • I appreciate your comments but as the whole film explains, the story is about Human rights abuses happening around the world right now, and criminal prosecution of home birth midwives that happens in many countries around the world (and no criminal prosecution if the same situation happens in hospitals) means that home birth is not a supported choice, which is a violation of Human Rights (as articulated in the European Court of Human Rights holding in the ECHR Ternovszsky vs Hungary 2010 case).

  • Yes, every woman should have the choice to decide where and how she gives birth – and the denial of that choice is a violation of the woman's Human Rights. I agree that their needs to be a balance with full back-up emergency care available to all mothers, whether she decides to give birth at home or in hospital, so a home birth mother and midwife should be fully supported by a back-up emergency transport system and caring Ob/GYNs in the event if the mother needs to be transported to hospital.

  • As a mother of two, having one daughter in hospital and one daughter at home, the difference in our experience was unbelievable. Thanks to HypnoBirthing, Ina May's books, a wonderful, supportive midwife and partner, I had the most AMAZING experience of my life. My birth was incredible and it should be like that for every woman. Woman should take back their birthing rights!

  • dear realbirthstories,

    Agnes Vereb was not arrested because she assisted a home birth.I can't write down what was the prosecution in english,but close to:make a mistake which ends with DEATH while someone practice its professional.So there is nothing about home birth in that story.And that's why I say this film makes more problems for home birth, not help to let mothers to do it,cause this story built from lies.Which means who does not agree with home birth can say, this is a lie. and this is.

  • and honestly: you can have a birth wherever you want. you don't call the ambulance or ride to the hospital and that's it. so you have rights to have a home birth. Agnes Vereb doesn't have rights to make mistakes and leave death babies behind, just because even if she knows it's time to call ambulance, she doesn't do it, because afraid of consequences of her acts. Really, really sad story. and one more thing. to have a home birth, you have to be prepared. not just physically, but with your soul

  • and mind. And no one can tell that you are prepared. You know it, not anyone else. So for these home births the mothers are responsible, but who is responsible to say this woman knows what she is doing… Really hard to say it's going to be like this or that and make a law for home birth. If you want to have a home birth, don't go the hospital, do it at home, it means you are prepared. but if you need a help, that means you are not prepared, so go to the hospital if you don't want to go to your

  • child's funeral… Please. I saw dozens of movies about home birth and think this is amazing and beautiful. Am I prepared to do it? Not. Not yet, let's see how I feel when time is coming. For sure I'm not going to risk my child's and my life for a theory. Have to do what you feel. If I feel it, I won't need a midwife. I never so a lion to have a midwife next to her. So do it alone or do it with full help. This is my opinion.

  • 1)The verb cause refers to a relationship of casuality or causation.This relationship is between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first.
    2)Doctors,as everybody,of course are prosecuted when causing death(causing with the above meaning).Proof is the special law sector called medical law.The compensations that they are often forced to pay.The criminal reports which refer to acts of medical negligence.

  • Thank you.You would be right if doctor's weren't criminally prosecuted.But this is not true.Doctors who showed negligence(in simple words,they made an error which caused the death,not because of a random fact) during their duties face the law.Proof of that is the law sector called medical law,the term crimes by 'medical malpractice',the law conferancesces with subject 'medical negligence',the law books for the same subject,the accused doctors,the court cases,the compensations imposed to doctors.

  • This choice should be supported by every single woman who is in a low risk category… which is about 90%+ woman everywhere…….in many countries home birth is covered for low risk women by their insurance and the use of Midwifery is advocated…. OB/GYNs are only used when referred by the Midwife for a woman who becomes a high-risk patient.

  • Do you think that OBs don't have any neonatal or infant deaths? If they do, then yes it is inspected however, they are not sent to jail because of this… no, they are given a fair trial before sentenced to arrest. That option should be given to this woman, and convicted with a non-partial jury… (meaning not all male OB doctors), don't you think this would be only fair?

  • I think that this film gets the idea out of the closet, and out on the table. Even if this film attracts negative attention, it is still attention and women might take another look at what options they are missing out on…. I still believe women will, take all things into consideration and make the right choices for themselves.

  • Thanks for making this movie and trying to promote the Humans rights issue… I wish it wasn't that big of a problem in the US….

  • I would say, what is the evidence that is convicting this woman? have you read the medical documents of these baby deaths?… if not, then I do not think you are an accurate judge to say that she (this midwife from Hungary) CAUSED the infant deaths.

  • According to the movie trailer, the movie is about having the choice available to women if they want to birth at home…. the movie is not all about the midwife in Hungary…. I can say in the area in which I live in, the women are looked down on delivering at home, and their Health Care Providers discourage them in this decision…. even if they are LOW risk. I am glad they are making this video!!!! good for them!

  • again, I would say look at the medical documents. If she really didn't cause the deaths of these babies… then why would you call the ambulance… Also, these woman inherently know what they are getting into…(say if their baby died)
    if the law in Hungary says that you cannot practice home births and the women still choose this option then it should be their choice to do so…

  • The right to chose where to give BIRTH is just as big of a right as where to DIE…. can they dictate if you want to die in your home?……or should everyone be forced to die in the hospital… sometimes you cannot predict where you give birth just as much as you cannot predict where you die….

  • also, since I know many women in the US are so apt to support a woman's right to abort their babies….. why on earth would those same women not support the RIGHT to HAVE their babies where they want??? Doesn't anyone else think this is weird?

  • I would have to agree with this perception of birthing…I read a book that said there are 40,000 woman a year in the US who report to have painless births!!! (from the book painless childbirth)… and I have seen and heard of many woman who do not report pain during labor/birth….. and this is without medication!

  • would they have sent this lady to jail if she had not killed any babies…… and the answer would be yes… because it said that it became AGAINST the law to deliver at home… that is why this film is not telling lies!…

  • This is true there are some caring and wonderful doctors out there… but when certain medical journals (ACOG to be exact) attack home birth on unfounded statistics and warped interpretations of home birth studies across the world (in the book Birth Matters) it does make you wonder if MOST of them don't like home birth as an option…

  • "And what about the "having another more child issue "? Is that so expensive to have one more child in your family? Ok you decided at the very beginning to have one or two kids.But when you started to accept they`r affection and love why do you think that bringing to life another sister or brother to them is so economically painfull? was it really for the first one or two of them? Or it`s the cruel world you don`t want another kid to live in ( although you have brought into it one or two).LOVE"

  • it's ok, it's not my problem, just my opinion. I'll give a birth wherever I want, just hope she won't leave more death babies behind. Or anyone else.

  • que injusto lo que sucedio pero es una gran puerta para que las mujeres tomen conciencia de las deciciones y acciones al rededor de lo que quieren
    pero seria fantastico que pasaran el video completo que esta muy pero muy bien realizado yo tube la oportunidad de verlo en la comision de derechos humanos por un enlace de la maestra enfermera obstetra partera etc guadalupe landarreche y sus colaboradores espero pueda ser mas difundido y replicado

  • of course home-births are not for everyone. there are always "high risk"-pregnancies and i´ve never met a midwife who would support (for example) a triplet mom to have a homebirth. but for everyone else it should be a choice. and they should be able to make that choice without fearing the judgement of anyone.

  • I think it's all about the money. Birth in hospitals is big business and hospitals are huge corporations, so of course they want to corner the market. And the more unnecessary procedures leading to their ultimate goal, the c-section are performed, the more money they make. It's legalized abuse all for greed. They don't care about "safety". They care about their bank accounts. There's an 80% epidural rate in the United States. With water and hypno birth available, there is absolutely no excuse for our high epidural rate. None!!!

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