There was a brilliant turnout this morning for the judgement on Aja Teehan vs HSE. What I only realised the other day was that this case was not just about one mother wanting a home birth. It was an individual asking to be evaluated on her own merits, in this case to remove the blanket ban on home birth after C-section. The judge ruled against Aja, so the State has won against the individual yet again. Her human rights have been breached. Her autonomy over her body and her birth preferences do not matter to the outdated patriarchal institution that is the Irish State. It's days like this that make me want to up sticks and go live on an island where people are respected, valued and honoured. I was disgusted to hear that the HSE didn't even show up, so prolonging the judgement on costs to early September. The last referendum about the rights of the child has given the state more power than the child's mother. Aja is fully informed and aware that home birth is less risky and less expensive for the state than a hospital birth. The state is not as informed, in fact is misinformed, and has made a huge mistake here. Aja now has to pay the legal costs for the HSE. Can there ever be an objective trial against a state institution when it's the state itself doing the judging?
We are angry. We are disappointed. We are sad. And tonight there's a couple having to rethink their birth options at what should be a magical time for them. On behalf of all mothers present and future, thank you Aja and Charles for beginning this campaign. We will take it further and hopefully see birth rights honoured in this supposedly "free" country.
You can follow the case and give support at www.ajateehan.com, twitter #ajavhse.
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