Originally Posted by Valerie
That is interesting. Could you cite the part of New York law that guarantees a right to homebirth? Thanks!
What I have said in previous posts (and in response to previous posters) is that a state's willingness to license midwives who attend homebirth does not establish a fundamental right to homebirth.
Forgive the serial posting...
What we are really talking about here is the difference between a "right" and a "privilege," and it is a critical difference.
As an example of a fundamental right, let's use the right to freedom of religion. You have an absolute right to freedom of religion (with certain limitations), and the State cannot take that away from you. It was granted by the Constitution, and the only restrictions the State can put on it are those which prevent you from infringing on the rights of others.
Homebirth, on the other hand, may be a privilege in some states. The State allows the privilege in certain circumstances, the State can regulate access to homebirth, who can attend homebirths, and can even eliminate it entirely as an option. There is not, and never has been, an absolute fundamental right to give birth at home. We might disagree with that -- many people believe that the choice of birth place should
be a fundamental right -- but it hasn't happened yet.