Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Silent Ways Our Rights Are Eroded

They're going to make homebirth with a private practicing midwife illegal come July 2010. No really. Have a look for yourself: Midwife Professional Indemnity (Commonwealth Contribution) Scheme Bill 2009 HEALTH LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (MIDWIVES AND NURSE PRACTITIONERS) BILL 2009 If you believe in the rights of women, and the right of a woman to choose the how, when and where of HER birth get in touch with your local MP, rally with your fellow women, sign the petitions that are circulating and stamp your feet damn loudly. Even if your birthing days are long gone, you yourself would never choose to birth at home, or even, you don't ever plan to birth simply due to lack of inclination and/or reproductive capabilities (being also that it's possible that you're male) don't let them take the right to choose away from ALL Australian women. It's a basic human right to birth where we want to. This is about far more than birthing where there is nicer curtains and better food, this about our Government removing the right of a woman to self determination and bodily autonomy. If you want more information on how our government is creating a criminal of a woman making an informed choice, see these links to relevant blog posts - Make a submission to the Senate committee into the draft legislation about homebirth into Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and two related Bills Reason for referral of the Bills and information relating to the reference On 25 June 2009 the Senate, on the recommendation of the Selection of Bills Committee, referred the provisions of the Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and two related Bills to the Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 7 August 2009. The Bills may be accessed at the following links: Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 Midwife Professional Indemnity (Commonwealth Contribution) Scheme Bill 2009 Midwife Professional Indemnity (Run-off Cover Support Payment) Bill 2009 Quote: The Committee invites you to provide a written submission which should be lodged by 20 July 2009. A public hearing will then be held later in July. The Committee prefers to receive submissions electronically as an attached document – email: – otherwise by fax (02 6277 5829). Submissions become Committee documents and are made public only after a decision by the Committee. Publication of submissions includes loading them onto the internet and their being available to other interested parties including the media. Persons making submissions must not release them without the approval of the Committee. Submissions are covered by parliamentary privilege but the unauthorised release of them is not protected. Information relating to Senate Committee inquiries, including notes to assist in the preparation of submissions for a Committee, can be located on the Internet at For further information, contact: Committee Secretary Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs PO Box 6100 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Australia Phone: +61 2 6277 3515 Fax: +61 2 6277 5829 How to make a submission to a Senate Committee inquiry:- 1. A submission may be as short or as long as you like. It may contain facts, opinions, arguments or recommendations. It may cover all the points in the terms of reference or only some of them, depending on what interests you. Supporting documents may be attached. 2. There is no prescribed format. However, to make submissions most useful we suggest:* the terms of reference of the inquiry can be a good guide to structuring a submission;* if the submission is longer than a few pages, please include a summary at the front; and* submissions published on the Senate website will be converted to pdf format and, therefore, may have a different appearance to the document that was submitted. Sensitive material and confidential information should not be sent via email because it is not a secure medium. 3. If possible please provide submissions by email. Otherwise please type or write clearly in black ink on A4 paper. The preferred format is Microsoft Word but all submissions are considered regardless of their format or medium. 4. Inquiries from hearing and speech impaired people should be directed to the Parliament House TTY number (02) 6277 7799. Adobe also provides tools for the blind and visually impaired to access PDF documents. These tools are available at: If you require any special arrangements in order to enable you to participate in a committee inquiry, please contact the committee secretary. 5. Make sure you sign the submission. E-mailed submissions must include your name, phone number and postal address so we can verify them. If it is the submission of an organisation, say so clearly. Show the signatory's position and say at what level the submission was authorised. 6. A submission to a committee becomes a committee document, and must not be disclosed to any other person until it has been released ('published') by the committee. Unless you have requested that the submission remain confidential, it is normally published after the committee has received and examined it and authorised its publication. Once a committee has authorised the release of a submission, subsequent publication of it is protected by parliamentary privilege (see below). The content of a submission may be published in another form or for another purpose before the submission is released by the committee, but this publication will not be protected by parliamentary privilege. 7. If you want your submission to be kept confidential, please say so clearly at the top or in a covering note. Say why you want it to be kept confidential. If you want part of the submission to be confidential, please put that part on a separate page(s). The committee will sympathetically consider requests for confidentiality, but cannot make promises in advance. If you have concerns about confidentiality, please discuss with the committee secretary before you make the submission. 8. If your submission 'reflects adversely' on another person (for example, accusing them of lying or corrupt behaviour), the committee will send the comment to the other person so they can reply. This applies even if the committee agrees to keep your submission confidential. 9. Making a submission is protected by parliamentary privilege. It is an offence for anyone to try to stop you from making a submission by threats or intimidation. It is an offence for anyone to harass you or discriminate against you because you have made a submission. The content of the submission is also protected but only after the committee has accepted it. This means that what you say in the submission, once the committee has accepted it, cannot be used in court against you or anyone else. More information is available in another brochure, entitled 'Procedures to be observed by Senate committees for the protection of witnesses'. 10. A committee may reject a submission that is not relevant to its inquiry. In that case the content of the submission is not protected by parliamentary privilege. 11. If you make a submission, the committee may invite you to give evidence at a public hearing. 12. For more information contact the Senior Clerk of Committees, phone (02) 6277 3506, fax: (02) 6277 3899, em: or the relevant committee secretary. If not for you, for your daughters, wives, sisters, friends, cousins, work colleagues, aunties, neighbours and women far across this wide brown land - let our government know that it's OUR BODIES, OUR BIRTHS, OUR RIGHTS, OUR CHOICE.

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