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(Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
(Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

Human rights

A new Irish organization aims to give women control over how they give birth

By WITW Staff on January 29, 2016

“There are all sorts of protections given to us [as women], yet you and I cannot make the same decisions about our bodies, and that strikes me as scary. Really scary,” says lawyer Elizabeth Prochaska. “I would be scared to be a woman of reproductive age in Ireland.”

Prochaska works for one of Britain’s top legal firms and is the founder of Birthrights, an organization that serves to improve the experiences of women during pregnancy and childbirth by viewing the experience through a human rights lens. This week, she’ll help launch Midwives for Choice in Dublin, to help Irish women navigate the decision to use a midwife, and give aid to midwives who want to help the birth process. “Throughout history, and to this day, midwives have a way of working with women that is about respect and listening to that woman,” she told the Irish Times. “In terms of pure resources, it has been shown that giving birth in a midwife-led system or at home is way cheaper than the crazy, obstetric-led system we have at the moment. Choice is not more expensive in a reproductive sense.”

Having her children, now aged two and five, affected Prochaska’s outlook. “Before I had my daughter in 2010 I was a human rights lawyer, but I hadn’t had much to do with the rights of women, especially the vulnerability of women during pregnancy and birth.”

Read the full story at the Irish Times.