Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"Attacked" by the facts

Over on Empowering Birth Blog, Kat is wondering:
I know, I know, I should stop thinking about the recent attacks on my blog but after reading the article on "normal birth" from ICAN's latest newsletter, I just couldn't help but marvel over how completely Dr. Amy missed the point of my blog.
Here's my question: Since when are fact an "attack"?

Kat and other homebirth advocates need to ask themselves why they perceive the facts about childbirth to be an attack. I pointed out that hospital acquired infections are NOT the most important cause of infectious mortality in neonates; I pointed out that infant mortality is NOT the correct statistic to evaluate the quality of obstetric care; I pointed out that perinatal mortality is the appropriate statistic; and I pointed out that the US has one of the lowest perinatal mortality rates in the world, better than the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK. Those statements are 100% true. So how can the truth be an attack?

The truth can only be an "attack" if the purpose of the blog is to promote support for homebirth REGARDLESS of the facts. Over the last several weeks I have had FACTUAL comments about homebirth and childbirth deleted from homebirth advocacy blogs. I understand that part of the reason is embarrassment. I catch homebirth advocates making up claims wholesale, misunderstanding statistical information, and generally lacking basic knowledge about childbirth. However, I suspect that more than embarrassment is at work here. The driving force is to keep important information away from women. Evidently homebirth advocates do not consider women intelligent enough to evaluate data. Homebirth advocates "filter" (delete) incovenient information, because they don't trust women to think for themselves. How sad and how ironic. The first step in "empowering" birth is disempowering women.

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