As the controversy over women’s access to contraception continues, we look at women's access to safe, affordable and comfortable birthing options. Pioneering midwife Ina May Gaskin is the founder and director of the Farm Midwifery Center in Tennessee. Last year, she won a Right Livelihood Award "for her whole-life’s work teaching and advocating safe, woman-centered childbirth methods that best promote the physical and mental health of mother and child." She is the author of "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth," and most recently, "Birth Matters, a Midwife's Manifesta." “Insurance has incredible power ... that it did not have 70 years ago. It is the reason that doctors are not learning the reason to do breech deliveries any more. Its one of the huge reasons that we have very few midwives in this country,” Gaskin says. “Midwives are a the bottom of the pile, basically, on getting coverage.” Gaskin is also the founder of the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project, which seeks to draw public attention to the high maternal mortality rate in the United States.
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