Just found a study published in the British Medical Journal regarding the safety of home birth here in the US. It was on The Lactivist a while ago.
1) Women with low-risk pregnancies choosing to birth at home had "was 1.7 (child) deaths per 1000 planned home births, similar to risks in other studies of low risk home and hospital births in North America. No mothers died."
2) These women had much lower interventions. For example, instead of an estimated 30% rate of caesarian with most hospitals, home births that ended up transferring to the hospital had a 3.7% caesarian rate.
Home Birth: Just as safe, without the surgery!