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Public hospitals are no place for porn


Women’s health group says public hospitals are no place for porn

Women’s Health Action executive director Sandra Coney today urged the Minister of Health to step in to prevent the filming of a birth for pornographic purposes.

‘The proposed location is a public health facility, and the District Health Board would be quite within its rights to ban such filming,’ says Ms Coney. ‘It is outrageous to suggest that a commercial porn movie, filmed for profit, can use as a film set premises paid for by taxpayers.’ She notes that in the past hospitals have preventing filming on their premises for legitimate purposes, such as news broadcasts.

She says the courts have taken too narrow a view as there are risks to the mother and child in this case, as well as staff, and other women and children in the hospital.

‘Other people in the hospital should not be exposed to makers of pornographic movies and the risk of inadvertently filming others,’ she says. ‘There are also risks that the task of filming will get in the way of the safe delivery of the child. As the mother is already in hospital it is possible this will not be a straightforward birth.’ She points out that a doctor has just been struck off for allowing commercial considerations to compromise patient safety (the patient was being photographed during a cosmetic procedure and died of complications).

Women’s Health Action says there are wider risks in allowing pregnancy and birth to be eroticised.

‘We have serious social problems with child sexual abuse, paedophilia and child pornography. There are consequences for all women in allowing the porn industry to depict pregnancy and birth as sexually exciting for men,’ says Sandra Coney.

She also doubts the wisdom of the court ruling in allowing the mother to keep guardianship of the child.

‘The court said the woman’s judgement was wrong, yet said she was fit to rear her child,’ says Ms Coney. ‘She should be doing so under strict supervision and with a restraining order to prevent her exposing her child to the risks involved in filming. It will not be possible to protect the child’s identity if this filming goes ahead.’


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