Tuesday, 23rd November 2010
Commenting on the imprisonment of Hungarian midwife Agnes Gereb, Cathy Warwick, General Secretary of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), said: “The RCM joins professional colleagues as well as other groups from across the UK, Europe and indeed the rest of the world in registering our very strong condemnation of the treatment of Agnes Gereb. We would like to call both for the release of Dr Gereb and for the introduction of legislation in Hungary which would allow midwives to perform out of hospital births.
“Agnes Gereb is a woman who has been attempting to work in the interests of women. Her treatment at the hands of the authorities is disproportionate and inhumane. She has been arrested, imprisoned and mistreated. It is grossly unjust that any woman should be treated in such a way – shackled and handcuffed and unable to see her family for more than an absolutely minimal time over a period of forty four days. The RCM along with our sister organisation the Hungarian Midwives Association calls for her release and fair treatment.
“In addition the RCM believes it is every woman’s right to choose where and how they will give birth to their baby. European-wide regulation should make it legal for midwives to work in any place that women choose to give birth. Women are aware that there is strong evidence to support out of hospital birth and in making such a choice they should not be denied the attendance of a registered midwife. The RCM calls on the Hungarian authorities to urgently address this issue.”
For more information contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 345
Notes to editors
The Royal College of Midwives is the voice of midwifery. We are the UK’s only trade union and professional organisation led by midwives for midwives. The vast majority of the midwifery profession are our members. The RCM promotes midwifery, quality maternity services and professional standards. We support and represent our members individually and collectively in all four UK countries. We influence on behalf of our members and for the interests of the women and families for which they care. For more information visit the RCM website at www.rcm.org.uk.