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What are my rights?


Pregnant women have the same rights to bodily autonomy and informed decision/making as any other person.  Babies don't have their own rights until they are born alive.  So, the decisions for the baby are to be made by the mother. 

Your rights in health care include:

  • freedom from harm and ill-treatment

  • access to information, informed consent and respect for your choices

  • equality, freedom from discrimination

  • access to healthcare and the highest attainable level of health

Read more on your rights to:

What can I do if I feel my rights have been violated?
1. Make a complaint

If you're pregnant, making a complaint can help ensure you get the care you want and need. Your feedback can also help to protect other women going through the system from experiencing what you've been through. It's only by women speaking up that any meaningful change can occur. ​

We've developed a template to assist you in submitting your complaint. Alternatively, by visiting Best Birth Finder, you can review your birth experience for other women to see, as well as receive an automatically generated draft complaint email sent straight to your inbox. 

2. Commence legal action for medical negligence

Clare Eves from Shine Lawyers can give you more information about what's involved with pursuing legal action for medical negligence.

And David Lewis from Shine's media team would love to hear your experience of birthing in the maternity care system - regardless of whether you pursue legal action.  (Cc us at as well)

3. Seek victim support

Please reach out for further support as you need. The best way to find these services in your area is to Google 'victim support' + 'your state'.

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