Dr. Agnes Gereb, Hungary’s most prominent home birth midwife, also an obstetrician of 17 years, was imprisoned on October 5th, 2010 for providing assistance to a woman who showed up to her birth center in the advanced stages of labor. Dr. Gereb was teaching a childbirth course at the time to a number of couples at her birth center. She had previously declined attending this woman’s birth because she had pregnancy complications that made her birth a high risk category. So Dr. Gereb advised the pregnant woman that home birth for her would be too risky, but agreed to perform the pregnant woman’s prenatal care. On October 5th, this pregnant woman appeared at Dr. Gereb’s birth center in advanced stages of labor, and her baby was born very quickly. Unfortunately, the child’s respiration collapsed shortly after birth. Dr. Gereb and her team immediately called an ambulance and continued their resuscitation measures for the baby. Shortly after the ambulance, the police also arrived, and took Dr. Gereb into custody for reckless endangerment and for causing death in the line of work.
Dr. Gereb has been under preliminary arrest since October 5th. She is confined to her cell. She is denied fresh air exercise, access to the library, visitors, and even pain medications. When she is taken to court, she has to wear not only handcuffs but foot shackles as well. Dr. Gereb is a frail woman of nearly 60, with nearly 3500 births under her belt. Her infant mortality rate is less than 1 in 1000, which is better than Hungarian hospitals.
Home birth in Hungary is not illegal. A woman has the right to choose her place of birth, but since the government has failed to create the regulations governing home birth, anybody who assists a woman in a home birth may be prosecuted.
Here is how YOU can help Dr. Gereb:
1. Send an email to Hungarian authorities!
Copy the following text into an email, sign your name under it
I OBJECT to Dr. Gereb’s arrest and the manner of her imprisonment. Criminalizing home birth midwifery because of the government’s FAILURE to provide regulations is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Dr. Gereb’s imprisonment is UNLAWFUL, and the manner of her imprisonment is a HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION. I demand that Dr. Gereb be set free immediately, that all home birth midwifery cases in Hungary be decriminalized and moved into the realm of civil (malpractice) suits, and that international and/or Hungarian experts with experience in home births be invited into the process of crafting home birth regulations in Hungary.
TILTAKOZOM Dr.Geréb letartóztatása ellen, és a fogvatartásának körülményei ellen. ELFOGADHATATLAN az otthonszülésben segítő bábák munkájának kriminalizálása azért, mert az állam ELMULASZTOTTA a szabályzás megteremtését. Dr. Geréb bebörtönzése JOGTALAN, és a fogvatartásának körülményei EMBERI JOGAIT SÉRTI. Követelem, hogy Dr. Gerébet azonnal engedjék szabadon, hogy az összes magyarországi otthonszülésben részt vevő bába elleni pert vonják ki a büntetőjog alól, és helyezzék át a polgári jog hatáskörébe, és továbbá hogy olyan nemzetközi és/vagy magyar szakembereket vonjanak be az új szabályozás elkészítésébe, akiknek van tapasztalatuk az intézményen kívüli szülésben.
and email it to any or all of the following people:
Dr. György Vókó, head prosecutor in Dr. Gereb’s case
Office of the Prime Minister
1357 Budapest Pf. 2
Minister of Public Administration and Justice
1357 Budapest Pf.2
Office of Parliament
Committee on Human Rights, Minorities, Civil and Religious Matters
1358 Budapest, Széchenyi rkp. 19.
Miklós Réthelyi, Minister
Ministry of National Resources (incl. Health)
1054 Budapest, Akadémia u. 3.
FIDESZ President (leading political party)
1088 Budapest, Szentkirályi u. 18.
Sándor Pintér, Minister of the Interior
1903 Budapest Pf.: 314
Dr. Tamás Kovács, State Prosecutor
State Prosecutor’s Office
1372 Budapest, Pf. 438.
2. Sign the petition for Free Birth Choices in Hungary here:
3. Contribute your time, energy, expertise, or services.
If you want to become more involved in Dr. Gereb’s case, please contact Donal Kerry at email@example.com
Visit www.freegereb.org to see how you can donate towards Dr. Gereb’s legal expenses.
5. Send Dr. Gereb a postcard in jail.
Fovarosi Buntetes Vegrehajtasi Intezet
Nagy Ignac u. 5-11.
I’m sure she would appreciate some words of support.