Thursday, September 20, 2012

Keeping the Fire Burning

Posted by Melissa Baumgart
Fresh from the campus of my new school, Bastyr University, I am feeling inspired and really pumped up about women's rights, reproductive rights, and basically, human rights.  I admit, I feel hesitant, and I hush my own excitement for fear of being just one more person that feels the spark only to let it burn out.  One more person that walks away, taking with them that slow, steady breath it takes to blow on the embers of a budding revolution and keep them smoldering, for as long as it takes until the fire fully ignites.

I have seen that quality in myself before: Occupy Seattle, Running a Mile a Day, Painting a Mural.  I can swell with inspiration and vision, only to watch myself deflate in the face of everyday life.  I vow for this one to be different.  I am setting it up differently already.  I am in a program for the next three years that facilitates involvement and community around these very issues.  I have surrounded myself with a cohort of women that share my ideals and vision...we can grow this movement exponentially.

The Midwifery department at my school participated in a viewing of a new documentary, Freedom for Birth.  The film explores the story of a Hungarian midwife, Ágnes Geréb, that was imprisoned for attending home births and is currently still on house arrest.  From her story, you learn about a landmark case brought to the European Court of Human Rights.  One of Ágnes Geréb's clients, Anna Ternovszky, won a decision against the country in Hungary which stated that she "has a human right to choose the circumstances in which she gives birth."

This is huge.  Why have we not heard of this since it happened in 2010?  Why were there only 7 people in an auditorium watching this film today?  Why doesn't some pregnant woman here in the US take this up with her state?  With our Supreme Court?  Yes, I have a lot of questions.

Just to be clear, this means a woman has the human right to birth at home, in a birth center, or in the hospital.  We can all unite upon this front...there needs not be a divide amongst the birth community.  Can't we all agree, and work together to educate everyone, that women are the people in charge of birth?  The woman birthing is the one making the choices.

Let's get fired up.  Let's keep it burning.

Maybe we could get a mural up in Seattle symbolizing this movement.  I was just informed of an upcoming mural project, Stunning Seattle.  I could fulfill (and mitigate my guilt) my commitment to Mural Month, and we could get some beautiful, moving, inspiring art up in Seattle.  Who's in?  The meeting for ideas is next week!

No comments: