Jene Kelly 0

I support Aja and Charles

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"it's a story that I see repeated time and again, both nationally and internationally. So I ask myself - when are we going to rally around these women, as a single, unified group. At what stage will we stop allowing ourselves to be picked off individually, slowly eroded, piece by piece? If 'divide and conquer' is the problem, then unity is the solution." ~ Aja Teehan


Aja Teehan has launched a High Court challenge against the HSE and the Department of Health seeking judicial review of their refusal to grant her a home birth.

Aja says on her blog : "I have brought this case because of the HSE’s refusal to allow me to have a home birth with the assistance of a midwife. HSE policy along with changes in the law mean that it is no longer possible for any expectant mother to have a home birth unless they fit within a rigid criteria; I cannot access one publicly, or privately. When the HSE refused my application for home birth, they did not assess me as an individual mother and imposed a blanket policy. I have right to autonomy and family rights, which are guaranteed by the European Convention of Human Rights and our Constitution. I am seeking to vindicate my rights.

Of course, medical evidence and care is absolutely critical during this time; I have been very careful to avail of excellent medical advice during this period, and I have every intention of continuing to do so. However, ultimately, I claim and take responsibility for the decisions made regarding me, my body, my baby, my birth and my family. I have personal and family rights, and I intend to exercise them.

After my first child was born by caesarean section in an obstetric unit, my husband and I decided that we wanted to avail of a home-birth for our second child. We examined many sources of information to assist us in coming to this conclusion; peer-reviewed articles in medical journals, publicly available statistical reports such as those generated by the ESRI, and web-sites belonging to organisations involved in birth e.g. AIMS Ireland ( and the Home Birth Association (

We considered the safety of VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean), and examined the risks associated with it, as well as how those risks could be best managed. It is our considered opinion that the home setting offers us the best chance of successfully delivering our baby in private, in a respectful environment, and in safety."


This past Wednesday, 31st July, the judicial review “Aja Teehan vs the HSE and the Minister for Health” commenced. In this review, it will be decided whether women living in Ireland have the right to be individually assessed in the process of decision-making on the options of place of birth available, or, if the HSE on behalf of the State, can legitimately dictate where, how, and with whom women give birth at the stroke of a pen.

A judgement date has been given, August 16th.

A Rally of over 50 women, men, and children came out to support Aja and Charles at the High Court hearing last Wednesday. Many more offered support in online and social media outlets, and even more have asked for a public way in which they can show their support and demonstrate the extent of public support for Aja and Charles.

This petition is being used as a book of support to give individuals the opportunity to support Aja and Charles.




In signing this, we the undersigned say, " I support Aja and Charles because I believe all parents of the world have the right to have their voice heard on how the mother and baby in childbirth can best be protected."


Voice your support by sending support emails to Irish TDs and Policy Makers - these emails go directly to the TDs and policy makers.


We invite you to join us in a unified stand on August 16th for a Rally of Support for Aja and Charles. Friday, August 16th at 10am. Four Courts, Quays, Dublin.






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