This is the title of an article in today's Independent newspaper in the UK, which quotes Maureen Treadwell, co-founder of the Birth Trauma Association (BTA):
"Childbirth has become a political football where women are often discouraged from having the sort of birth that they want in order to fulfil someone's idea of a 'normal' birth. Women don't want to have to go into childbirth and have to fight for pain relief... There is a hidden agenda here, one that will result in women being made to feel failures just for asking for pain relief or other forms of medical intervention."
Tomorrow, Monday 24th November, the BTA and other support groups are meeting with Kevin Barron MP, chair of the Commons Health Select Committee, in order to "call for urgent action to ensure women are given a real choice of treatment. The campaigners accuse the Government of having allowed childbirth to be dominated by policies which suit some groups of women to the detriment of others, and are calling on ministers to create an inclusive maternity policy."
I will be there in spirit and would have loved to be there in person as invited, but unfortunately it was not practical. I will keep readers posted on the outcome of this meeting, and invite you to demonstrate your support for autonomy in childbirth - including cesarean delivery - by signing my online petition. Signatures and comments to date are listed here.