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Pregnant Woman in Australia Gets a Visit from the Pitocin Police

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Via The Daily Telegraph:

A HOSPITAL that wants a mother to have her baby induced sent police to her home after she failed to keep an appointment yesterday.

Rochelle Allan, who is reluctant to be induced even though her baby is 12 days overdue, was told by the hospital they intended to go ahead with the procedure when she came in.

But after speaking to her midwife following a visit to the hospital the day before, and being assured her baby was fine, she decided not to attend the hospital the next day.

Now Ms Allan is furious after the two police officers arrived on her doorstep after they were called by Bathurst Hospital.

Wanting a home birth, Ms Allan, 24, has been under the care of a private midwife and had been attending the hospital daily to monitor the baby’s health.

“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the police officers at my door,” Ms Allan said.

“They told me they had been asked by the hospital to check on my welfare because I had not attended.

“The hospital knew I did not want to be induced and they gave me no medical reason why I should be.”

Throughout her pregnancy, Ms Allan and her partner Daniel Jones have been regularly attending the hospital’s antenatal clinic for mandatory tests and scans to monitor the baby’s progress. A hospital spokeswoman confirmed police were sent to Ms Allan’s house to conduct a “welfare check”.

The spokeswoman said doctors were worried about the mother as she had previously complied with all appointments.


The article also stated that by late yesterday, Allan’s labor had begun and she was at home with her midwife.

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Reader Comments (15)

Knitted in the Womb, exactly. Typical protocol for concerned care providers or office staff for a missed appointment is a PHONE CALL, not the police. This seems to have everything to do with home birth politics in Australia right now.

January 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

wow I am currently 15 days "overdue" and Im glad I fired my midwife (ahem...MEDwife) in october, or Im sure she'd be sending the police to my house! it's disgusting that I have to fly under the radar to keep my baby safe. if I broke my arm today, I'd have to wait until the baby was born to go to emergency, or Im sure I'd be under some kind of court ordered induction faster than you can say "pitocin kills babies".

and wtf is with the "mandatory tests" mentioned in the article? since when are any of the unnecessary tests and exams which they inflict on moms and babies mandatory? uhh...they're not.

January 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

The hospital called a number of times and got no response, thats why they sent the police to check. Maybe this woman should have had someone call and cancel her appointment and the hospital could have focused there concern on those that need it more.

January 16, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkaren doug

Karen, how do you know? If you know more about the situation, what did you think of this line in the article?

"Rochelle Allan, who is reluctant to be induced even though her baby is 12 days overdue, was told by the hospital they intended to go ahead with the procedure when she came in."


January 16, 2010 | Registered CommenterJill

I'm from New Hampshire, in the USA, and our local cops MIGHT conduct a "welfare check" on a woman who was overdue, but that's because we're in a TINY town. From their perspective, they wouldn't THINK to intimidate a pregnant woman, but we're awfully remote, and it's actually quite reasonable for them to want to make sure nothing happened to her. If she didn't keep an appointment and didn't call to cancel it, the hospital might have thought that, perhaps, something had gone wrong and she was bleeding on a floor somewhere, having fallen and hit her head.

While I agree that the medicalization of birth is both scary and REDICULOUSLY unnecessary, I just think that maybe this was more a case of poorly-expressed concern than coercion.

January 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLittle D, S.N.
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