Two-Year Prison Sentence For Hungarian Doc, Home-Birth Advocate

Dr. Agnes Gereb, obstetrician and home-birth advocate, was sentenced to two years in prison.

Home births are up in the U.S. according to the CDC, due in part to organized efforts by groups like The Big Push for Midwives to educate the public and help legalize midwives in more states.

But things don’t look so great for home-birth supporters in Hungary. This week, Dr. Agnes Gereb, an obstetrician and home-birth midwife who had been sentenced to two years in prison for malpractice, lost her appeal and got hit with even tougher sanctions, CBS News reports. (Her supporters say she has been singled out for punishment due to her role assisting and championing home-births.)

Budapest’s Court of Appeals also banned Dr. Agnes Gereb from working in her profession for the next 10 years, increasing last year’s court ruling, which had banned her for five years.

Defense lawyer Andrea Pelle said her client would likely appeal for clemency to President Pal Schmitt.

The court said Gereb must serve at least two-thirds of the sentence before parole, while the original decision allowed parole after one year.

Last year’s verdict was already unusual because the judge’s sentence was much tougher than the suspended prison term sought by prosecutors.

We wrote about Gereb earlier here as well as the ongoing international effort, including a Facebook campaign to support her.

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