Our visionis of a world where women and birthing people can access safe maternity care that fully respects their right to bodily autonomy and self-agency, free from discrimination, coercion and violence.
Birthrights is here to champion the fundamental rights of women and birthing people during pregnancy and birth across the UK. To help us do this, we’ve developed a new strategic framework to guide our work, our goals and our decision making until 2034 and help us continue our work as a small charity with a big mission.
Birthrights is the leading authority on the rights of women and birthing people during pregnancy and birth in the UK and our work has never been more urgent. Our work is critical to not only transforming the experiences and outcomes for individuals, but also in shifting wider policy, practice and systems.
We do this by focusing on championing rights, by empowering and supporting women and birthing people, training healthcare professionals, holding systems and institutions to account (including through strategic litigation and using the law strategically), and making visible the diverse experiences of maternity care.
It is through this combination of activities, that we contribute to the movements for birth justice and reproductive justice, and we move closer to a world where women and birthing people can access safe maternity care that fully respects their right to bodily autonomy and self- agency, free from discrimination, coercion and violence.
Our starting point, is that all women and birthing people should feel safe and heard throughout their pregnancy and birth, confident they will be offered safe maternity care that fully respects their right to bodily autonomy and self agency. There should be no doubt over their right to make informed decisions and choices, free from discrimination, coercion and violence.
But for a world a world where women and birthing people can access safe maternity care that fully respects their right to bodily autonomy and self-agency, free from discrimination, coercion and violence to exist, we must recognise the following truths:
The UK’s maternity system is in crisis and the experiences and outcomes for women and birthing people, and their babies, are alarming. Too often these outcomes could have been avoided.
The basic rights of women and birthing people are under threat.
Marginalised and minoritised women and birthing people face even more barriers to accessing basic maternity care and are at greater risk of experiencing even worse maternal care and outcomes.
Too often, frontline professionals trying to uphold the very best practices for women and birthing people in their care are faced with unsupportive, under-resourced, bullying, and toxic working environments.
What we will do
1. Equip women and birthing people and their supporters with information and advice to advocate for their rights and navigate maternity systems, providing more intensive support and advocacy for those who are most likely to be marginalised and least likely to be heard.
2. Hold institutions to account and using the law strategically, standing ever ready to take action where the law is not upheld in policy or practice.
3. Increase awareness and understanding of how the law applies to maternity care and why this matters amongst women and birthing people and their supporters, and those who design, manage, deliver and regulate maternity care.
4. Work in community to catalyse systemic change through research and evidence, policy and advocacy, litigation and campaigns.
Want to support our work?
Fund our vital services providing advice to women and birthing people, training healthcare professionals in rights-respecting care and campaigning for long-term change in maternity services.
You cansign up to our newsletter to receive our events, training & advice updates as well as our policy and campaigning news direct in your inbox each month. Otherwise, watch this short video we created for Birthrights’ 10th anniversary, sharing a broader picture of both our work, as well as the impact it has.