I'm really surprised by those of you saying inductions aren't the norm where you are, because it's totally common among the people I know....and I live in earthy, crunchy Austin! I totally agree with Badger's point of view, because she's taking the reasonable middle ground.
My doc claimed to be an "any way you want it" type of provider, but she started mentioning induction by my final month because if I went past due, "it would be hard to get a bed for Memorial Day weekend." Pretty sure that meant it was for her own scheduling convenience. At one of my appointments when I was just about 40 weeks, the nurse casually informed me they'd scheduled an induction for the next week. What.the.fuck. No, you don't do that without notice and consent, bitchez. And while I was an older mom, the pregnancy was fantastically complication-free. So I canceled that, but agreed to one the next week if I went further past due (would have been 9 days past due date, I think). That day, I freaked and canceled that one, with the doc agreeing to go to 2 wks past due if necessary.
Inductions for no medical reason are crazy, and it's perfectly normal to go well past due, particularly with first babies. My doc even acknowledged inductions more often end up in c-sections. Every person I know who's had one ended up with a C. For whatever reasons, it was important to me to go into labor on my own, in my own space (and not have a c-section). Finally went into labor naturally and delivered 11 days past due, and was really glad I stood up for myself. I think home births for low-risk moms are fine so long as there are trained professionals there and you live reasonably near a facility if things go wrong-- but none of this unassisted/father-assisted horseshit.