Monday, September 10, 2012

Media Portrayal of the Labor Day Rally for Change

Nearly 10,000 women, men, and children attended the National Rally of Change by Improving Birth in 110 cities across 45 states in the US on Labor Day.  It was the largest women's rights rally in decades.  Expect more to come in the next few months.  The work is only beginning!

Rally at Medical Center of Arlington, TX 

Most rallies did get some media attention.  People say that some attention is better than no attention, but some of the attention perpetuated the problem!  Check out one of our media spots from Arlington, TX:

I don't want to nit-pick it to death -- and we are grateful for the coverage -- but when the anchor/reporter makes comments like "...They are calling for change in maternity care that shifts away from inductions involving  drugs and c-sections to, what they say, are safer methods of delivery..." it makes us sound like we are just making stuff up.  She kept calling it the Birth Change/Method Movement, which I thought was funny.

I sincerely don't understand why the media has to make birth advocates look ridiculous and on the fringe.  All the media clips make birth look so scary and the women look like they are beyond miserable.  Who wouldn't want an epidural after watching these clips!?

Take the clip here where the woman is screaming in one long tone.  The reporter's voice-over is actually valuable information that is pertinent to our cause, but you a) can't hear it because of the yelling, and b) can't take it seriously because who would ever want to have a natural birth if this is what you might sound like?!

The topic of birth makes people so uncomfortable that they have to make fun of it, or show "funny" movie clips to get through it.  I believe that is part of the bigger problem here.  No one wants to have a serious conversation about birth.

Abbey and I actually spent quite some time with a couple of reporters discussing some really pertinent issues.  Abbey, a VBA3C (we had 3 of them at our rally!) , gave these reporters lots to work with as far as VBAC myths, but none of that made it onto the news.  I really believe that people just don't want to know.

I'll leave you with the other media clip, which was only 49 seconds, but at least we didn't look like we are on the fringe, mostly because I told the reporter we aren't trying to take away anyone's epidural with our rally!  If they only knew...


JuliPickle said...

Ugh. The clips of women giving birth they chose to highlight made me cringe. Heaven forbid they show a peaceful candlelit birth right?

HaleeBurch said...

I really think the video clips were more harmful than the choice in words from the reporter, but I think you are right, either people don't want to know. Or the media is so liberal in all parts that they are always working to keep people from knowing. I think long gone are the days of unbiased and true journalism.
I wonder if you could ever get a real interview, not just a few talking points at a rally but get them to bring you in and discuss what is going on and your position. It might would even be interesting to see a series with natural birth advocate vs a medically minded doctor. or a naturally minded doctor to come and talk with you in support of refromation to come to the delivery rooms.