Born Unequal: Why we need a progressive pre-birth agenda

Louise Bamfield


InBritain, by the time a baby is born, its chances of living a healthy, fulfilling life are already decided. Building on Narrowing the Gap, Louise Bamfield examines the reasons for inequalities at birth and explores the ways in which government can act to support maternal and foetal health.


There is an increasing amount of evidence to suggest that the period before birth is critical in influencing later life chances. If we want to tackle inequality, policy interventions must begin earlier.


While the Government has begun to recognise the need for a pre-birth policy, it has yet to make a progressive case for it. This policy report argues that the Government’s attack on child poverty and inequality risks being undermined by the punitive public narrative that has emerged in recent years around anti-social behaviour and the politics of ‘respect’. If action to tackle inequalities before birth is to gain the support necessary carry it forward, the Government must make the case for a progressive pre-birth agenda.


You can buy a printed copy edition of Born Unequal: Why we need a progressive pre-birth agenda for £6.95, plus £1 p+p, by phoning the Fabian Society bookshop on 020 7227 4900, emailing us at [email protected] or send a cheque payable to “The Fabian Society” to 11 Dartmouth Street, London, SW1H 9BN.