Midwifery and the Home Birth Movement: Women Questioning the (Medical) System

In 2008, actress and talk show host Ricki Lake and filmmaker Abbey Epstein collaborated on their revolutionary documentary film The Business of Being Born, which explores the current experience of childbirth in the U.S. and the history of the home birth movement.

Featuring a number of birth stories – including Epstein’s, which occurred during the course of making the film, and Lake’s second birth, which was a home birth – the film was made in a similar spirit to the hugely popular Our Bodies, Ourselves, compiled and published by the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective (see Wendy Kline’s article “Please Include This In Your Book…”) in 1973.

As Dr. Kline mentioned on Tuesday, much of our current conversations about women’s reproductive justice centers on access to contraception and abortion. But here is a key piece of reproductive justice for women as well: the messages we give women about birthing and about the options available to them for a safe birth.



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