This article examines how choice is constructed in relation to risk in a UK ante-natal class. Discursive psychology was applied to transcripts of 50 hours of audio recordings collected from local UK National Childbirth Trust classes. We found that consent to medical control of the birth environment is positively encouraged through Class Leaders’ persuasive advice-giving and the delivery of cautionary (moral) tales in the form of extreme horror stories. Whilst parental agency is embedded in a ‘rhetoric of choice’, regulatory mechanisms of ‘coercive choice’ operate in tandem through a rhetoric of risk that positions medical intervention as the safer option. The right to choose seems to take on the status of a ‘required element’, which is both observed and resisted in discourse but, as previous research has suggested, may not necessarily be sustainable in practice. Our analysis suggests that the normativity of medical interventions in labour and childbirth is discursively reproduced in ante-natal classes whilst parental choice is limited by a powerful ‘rhetoric of risk’.