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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women’s center gives birth to UA film series

    The University of Arizona Women’s Resource Center kicked off their documentary film series last night with Ricki Lake’s controversial film, “”Business of Being Born,”” at the Gallagher Theater.

    The documentary compared hospital deliveries with the growing popularity of at-home childbirth, exploring America’s maternity care system.

    “”(The movie) had a lot of information about why the hospitals are kind of ruining the birth process,”” said Harlean Ahuja, a sociology freshman.

    “”Our health care system is in trouble, especially when it comes to the maternity system,”” said Malia Whatafe, a religious studies senior and liaison for the Women’s Resource Center.

    Doctors have taken over so much, said guest speaker Maria Villa, a doula at the Birth and Women’s Health Center in Tucson. “”The movie said, over and over again, women are forgetting how to give birth.””

    “”As a UA student, 21 years old and not having a child, (the documentary) provided me with different options of child birth,”” Whatafe said. “”For me personally, primetime television and Hollywood (have) glamorized hospital births and everything that comes with it, and saying this is the best way to have a child. And then you have this documentary that provides a different perspective, and it tells the truth about the maternity system,””

    “”They are pushing the envelope and saying, ‘Look at what everyone thinks is the norm.’ But that norm, that standard that everyone accepts, isn’t what should be. It’s something where you’re going against the system,”” said Wenonah Michallet, administrative assistant at the Birth and Women’s Health Center. “”And the system says doctors and insurance and those businesses are controlling the way things are done. But the control should be with the women,””

    “”(Women) have this awesome powerful thing that (they) can do,”” said Michallet of the movie’s message. “”And to give that power back to women, instead of taking it away from them and putting them in bed where they’re strapped down to a monitor and told what’s going to happen to them, instead of giving them options.””

    “”It defiantly opens up your mind about other ways of giving birth, and that’s a really important thing for a woman, to know the options,”” Ahuja said.

    But the women present agreed it was important for men to know the options as well.

    “”Even though a woman is giving the actual labor, a child is very important in a man’s life, and I think he would want the best possible birth for his child,”” Ahuja said.

    Whatafe agreed and said, “”(Young men) too should know the options with what their significant other would be going through.””

    Options are what Carly Thomsen, an adviser, mentor and UA alum at the Women’s Resource Center, emphasized.

    “”We are an absolutely pro-choice center, and showing a film like this highlights the fact that we support all forms of reproductive freedom,”” Thomsen said.

    Villa said she had come to speak to UA students because “”all of these women are going to (be) mothers some day, I think.””

    “”(There is) misinformation out there in terms of the way that birth that needs to happen,”” Villa added. “”Home birth has become a bad word, and it shouldn’t be.””

    This is the first of seven documentaries that will be presented by the Women’s Resource Center. They will be shown every first and third Wednesday of every month for the rest of the year.

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