I wanted to pass along word of an important film that's emerging into the world in January - The Business of Being Born, executive produced by Ricki Lake working with director Abby Epstein.
Here is a synopsis from the film's web site:
"Birth: it’s a miracle. A rite of passage. A natural part of life. But more than anything, birth is a business. Compelled to find answers after a disappointing birth experience with her first child, actress Ricki Lake recruits filmmaker Abby Epstein to examine and question the way American women have babies.
The film interlaces intimate birth stories with surprising historical, political and scientific insights and shocking statistics about the current maternity care system. When director Epstein discovers she is pregnant during the making of the film, the journey becomes even more personal. Should most births be viewed as a natural life process, or should every delivery be treated as a potentially catastrophic medical emergency?"
Many women are well aware of their second-class-citizen status when it comes to healthcare research and thus actual healthcare, and almost everyone (particularly since Michael Moore's film, Sicko) is aware that an assembly-line, profiteering-oriented health industry is far-removed from health-care, with stunning and appalling consequences.
Indeed, while many technological and scientific strides in medicine are laudible, dignity, compassion, quality, and care are too often the casualties when the focus is the financial bottom-line and efficiency priorities in a trifecta created between powerful for-profit medical and/or HMO, insurance, and pharmaceutical industry players. A focus on treating symptoms or iradicating the diseased 'part' rather than whole systems only makes matters worse. People come last, the personal touch is a costly luxury, and a focus on integrated or wholistic health is 'new age'.
With the 'business of birth', additional factors come into play, such as Western Medicine's approach to birth as a process that is to be subdued and controlled, wrangled into priorities about efficiency and convenience (e.g. 'scheduled (and unnecessary) C-Sections' or induced labor vs. natural birth process), and approached in a way that increases pain and suffering that is then numbed with pharmaceuticals.
Check out The Business of Being Born, and spread the word into your communities and circles.