Two midwifery organisations have written to the Hungarian President to grant midwife Dr Agnes Gereb clemency over her two-year jail sentence.
The International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), who represent 1.5 million midwives worldwide, have written to Hungarian President Josef Janos Ader stating that “It is our shared belief that women around the world have the right to excellent midwifery and/or obstetric care and we encourage and celebrate midwives and obstetricians who respect women’s rights to make informed choices and decisions about her care during childbirth.”
Dr Agnes Gereb was sentenced to 2 years in prison on January 18 2018 for helping to facilitate home and birth centre births in Hungary.
According to Hungarian law, while it is legal for women to give birth at home, Hungary’s public health authorities refuse to issue licences to independent midwives who attend the home births.
Over the last few years Dr Agnes Gereb has appealed against her sentence but all appeals have failed.
Both ICM and FIGO have stated, through their respective presidents, that “midwives and obstetricians always have the right to first be investigated by their peers; that is, a professional hearing by experts from their own profession of midwives or obstetricians, respectively. Such a professional hearing should always precede the potential necessity of handling by police and investigation by a criminal court.”
Both organisations in the letter have respectively urged President Josef Janos Ader to “uphold these respective rights, for all women, midwives and obstetricians in your country.”
Read the full letter to Hungarian President Josef Janos Ader here:
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