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About BRBA

Women are frequently denied their right to make informed decisions about the healthcare they receive during childbirth and other reproductive health services; this lack of informed consent constitutes a human rights violation that could be attributed to States and national health systems.

- Report of the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, July 2019

BRBA Mission and Goals

BRBA is a part of a growing global movement to ensure the human rights of people seeking reproductive health services, with special attention to childbirth, are respected and integrated into care provision.

BRBA contributes to this international effort by developing the capacity of our members to identify and respond to the human rights component of perinatal care. We provide continuing legal education, networking, research, and collaborate on institutional legal advocacy efforts, like the Global Task Force on Quality Perinatal Care During COVID -19.

In addition, we track and maintain data, and identify trends and opportunities for strategic action. Using these methods, we aspire to create a systematic, multi-disciplinary, global approach to addressing the violations of rights in childbirth.

... a competent person has a liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment ...

- Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990)

Why BRBA is Necessary

Pregnant and birthing people are frequently denied a range of human rights including the right to life, physical liberty, bodily integrity, autonomy, privacy, due process of law, equal protection, religious liberty, and informed consent - based solely on their pregnancy status. This denial of human rights extends to midwives and other health professionals who care for pregnant and birthing families.

The legal problem is compounded by the failures of the maternity care system.

There is a grave need for knowledgeable lawyers, coordinated strategy, and resources to address these issues.  BRBA aims to fill that void by increasing the capacity of lawyers all over the world to identify these issues and take on these cases.

... in virtually all cases the question of what is to be done is to be decided by the patient — the pregnant woman — on behalf of herself and the fetus.
In re A.C., 573 A.2d 1235 (1990)

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