Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Hungarian midwife jailed

Posted on: November 16, 2010

Hungarian midwife Agnes Gereb has been jailed for supporting homebirths.

Agnes a highly experienced gynaecologist, midwife and internationally recognised home birth expert who has successfully helped deliver 3,500 babies at home.

The legal situation is ambiguous in Hungary, the constitution  gives a mother the right to give birth at home but also prevents her doing so by arguing that the practical conditions to ensure a safe home birth do not exist, thus in effect making homebirth illegal.

As a Health Professional I know the huge benefits of homebirth.  Indeed there has been much research which supports the known benefits of homebirth:

  • Reduction to the length of labour
  • Increased normal vaginal delivery rate (reduced need for forceps, ventouse, caesarean)
  • Reduced need for pharmacological pain relief
  • Increased breastfeeding rate
  • Increased satisfaction of experience
  • Decreased postnatal depression

Agnes Gereb deserves to be congratulated on her support for women who wish to give birth at home and certainly not punished and imprisoned.

The Hungarian Government is breaching civil liberties in denying women access to homebirth and stands alone in its position.  I implore them to do rectify this dreadful situation.

If you wish to help you can:

1. Send a card to Agnes at the jail.

2. Write to the Hungarian Ambassador in your country.

3. Write to the Minister of Health in Hungary

4. Write to the Minister of Justice in Hungary

5. The President of Hungary

6. Send this email to anyone, in any country, asking them to take similar action.

7. Send a copy of your letter to Agnes’s lawyer – Bea Bodrogi at
bbodrogi@gmail.com and her son Daniel at ceu@szinhaz.hu

8. Access the Facebook site and send details to anyone you know
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Podpora-pro-Agnes-Gereb-Support-for-Agnes-Gereb/139577179421729

For any further information or help in the above case please contact either:

Donal Kerry (mobile) 0036309242190 email: free@birth.hu

or Monika Schanda email: free@birth.hu

Visit the website: http://www.birth.hu

Relevant addresses:

The Prison:
Fovárosi Buntetes Vegrehajtasi Intezet., 1055 Bp., Nagy Ignac u. 5-11, Hungary

Hungarian Ambassador. You can find the address in your country on the following web site:
http://www.mfa.gov.hu/kum/en/bal/missions/missions_abroad/.

Dr Miklos Szocska
Ministry of Health, Social and Family Affairs
Budapest 1051
Arany Janos Utca
Utca 6-8, Hungary

Email: euallamtitkar@nefmi.gov.hu

Ministry of Justice and Law Enforcement
Igazsagugyi és Rendeszeti Miniszterium
1363 Budapest, Pf. 54.
Hungary

Minister: dr. Forgacs Imre Jozsef
The President of Hungary
Viktor Orban, 1054 Budapest, Hungary, Szechenyi rakpart 19

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