These two ACOG statements of policy convey extremely interesting (and to my mind) incongruous positions on their relationship (as Ob-Gyn doctors) with a "woman's right" to exercise control over her own reproductive capacity, including the right of a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy to choose the manner and circumstance of her birth.
The first document is the ACOG position on home birth (in a word "NO"), referred to some years ago by the president of ACOG as "the earliest form of child abuse". This policy statement was first passed in 1979 and than again in 1999 -- some five years after the LMPA of 1993. This clearly establishes that physician supervision of home birth midwives by obstetricians would be a violation of ACOG professional standards and therefore, is impossible. This impossibility must be noted in conjunction with the previous article from Ob.Gyn.News (Sept 15, 1993) stating that ACOG:
"held out for physicians supervision rather than a more collegial relationship, which, we felt, was an invitation to home birth."
The second document, a statement supporting a woman's right to legal and safe abortion services, and bends over backwards to "honor" the right of a women to informed consent and bodily integrity. I quote:
5. Informed consent is an expression of respect for the patient as a person; it particularly respects a patients' moral right to bodily integrity, to self-determination regarding sexuality and reproductive capacities and to support the patient's freedom within caring relationships".
Home-based birth care from a skilled attendant is amply identified as as safe or safer than hospital care. None the less, ACOG goes to such lengths to support the right to terminate a healthy pregnancy while totally denying healthy women the right to choose community-based midwifery care