Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homebirth legislation in Slovakia

I recently received this update from Iva Jancigova, who helped me translate some articles about home birth legislation from Czech to English:

This time it's about my own country--Slovakia. At the end of December, the Minister of Interior Robert Kaliňák introduced some law changes to the Law of Registration Offices (I don't know the proper English translation...these are the offices that issue birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates). The new law says that if a birth occurred out of hospital, the baby can only be registered at this office (and have a birth certificate issued) after the mother has a gynecological exam by a doctor. Until now, parents only had to show their IDs and announce the birth at the Registration Office. There are no "official" homebirth midwives in Slovakia, but some women still choose homebirth either with an underground midwife or without one. If these changes in law are approved, they will complicate the matters significantly for women who want to avoid obgyns and/or birth at home without the need to go anywhere. I'm not even starting on the violation of privacy, because then this e-mail would get really angry.

Two nonprofit organizations (one of them is the Women's Circles I already wrote you about) wrote an open objection and collected enough signatures that it has to be heard. See http://www.zenskekruhy.sk/nase-aktivity/napisali-sme/item/195-podporte-pravo-zien-zvolit-si-okolnosti-porodu. Now we're waiting to see how the negotiations will go. I really hope that the changes won't go through.

Iva Jancigova


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