CAM denounces Midwifery Today's decision to hold their conference at a venue with openly homophobic policies

August 14, 2019

The Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) and the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives (NACM) are the national organizations representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Canada. In partnership, NACM and CAM provide leadership and advocacy for accessible, autonomous, and publicly funded midwifery.

We promote the vital role of midwives in sexual, reproductive, and newborn health. Our work is grounded in equity, respectful care, informed choice, self-determination, inclusivity and reproductive justice. We advocate for community-responsive midwifery and contribute to progressive health policy in Canada, and internationally.

We learned of your upcoming Midwifery Today’s 2020 conference, titled ‘Sharing Birth Culture,’ through a petition posted by Ray Rachlin, president of the Pennsylvania Association of Certified Professional Midwives and the Philadelphia Gay News. The venue of the conference in Lancaster County, PA has a policy of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people. This venue selection reinforces systemic oppressive structures.

We believe that all midwives and midwifery practices can and should provide an environment where every individual is welcomed and treated with dignity and respect. It is critical for midwives to honour and respect all people’s right to self-determination as well as their right to receive health care that is free from discrimination, transphobia, homophobia and prejudice. Women and women’s health care will not benefit by refusing to recognize or include the rights of others.
Health equity depends upon care providers being informed about the needs of all, including members of our communities that include LGBTQ+ and two spirited peoples.

We strongly urge Midwifery Today to commit to providing resources and education for its members with a focus on inclusion, in a space where everyone is welcome.

Please see CAM’s Gender Inclusivity and Human Rights Statement: 

Sincerely,
Nathalie Pambrun
Sage-Femme Métis Franco-Manitobaine
President, Canadian Association of Midwives
Canadian Association of Midwives / Association canadienne des sages-femmes

Read CAM’s full response>>

Read NACM’s full response >>

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