I voted yes. And, I would like to see a *NON-USA* response here, as well. HOMEBIRTH is the NORM in most of the world, other than the USA. In much of Europe, for example, the VAST MAJORITY gives birth home and hospital birth is the EXCEPTION, not the rule!
Ok, here is where I am gonna make some people mad and I don't wish to start an ugly debate but here goes. SOMETIMES, the risk in childbirth lies in simply TOO MUCH intervention of the parts of medical and nursing personnel. Oh yea, I am gonna get flamed bigtime for this, esp. being an OB nurse in the USA. I have my suit on. I believe this: If the pregnancy is healthy and low risk AND prenatal care is thorough and done by a COMPETENT MIDWIFE, it can be and IS safe. It's already being accomplished in many places but not very well-publicized or discussed.
However, That said, YES---I readily acknowledge there is inherent risk in home birth. I also say, there is inherent risk in hospital birth, too. The risks are different in many ways. I would want to know my midwife had ample and readily-available MD and hospital backup for any situation. That is HARD to come by, however. Since the days of the squeezing out of the Granny Midwives in the USA, the medical community has had a TIGHT strong-hold on the birthing business, convincing many of us that it is a MEDICAL condition and event, to be controlled tightly, not a healthy condition to be allowed to take a natural course. This mindset we have sets us up for all sorts of scenarios that fail and essentially removes ours and the woman's trust in her body to do what it was designed to in a normal situation.
I am not a total "radical", however. (grin).... There are situations where home-birth could or should NEVER be considered; we all know that. That is why I am an OB nurse; I love to attend birth and after 6 years, it still takes my breath away, the awe of it all. I feel priveleged to be there for the birthing family. But in healthy, uncomplicated pregnancies, I see no reason why not to birth at home--- if backup is there and the birth attendant(s) WELL trained and competent.
In choosing homebirth, a family needs to understand the risks involved; e.g. informed choice applies here just as it would to interventions and birth in an hospital setting. I know the legally dangerous climate we are in and that is partly what I believe makes homebirth so risky as well.
However, I still believe this: Millions of inhabitants of our planet can't be *all* wrong when it comes to saying "yes" to homebirth in healthy situations.