Concerned About Coerced Abortions? Try Saying No to Cesarean Surgery

posted in: News | 0

Concerned About Coerced Abortions? Try Saying No to Cesarean Surgery Lynn Paltrow’s recent commentary on the Huffington Post brings to light a very important discussion about informed decision making for all childbearing women. “Last year Idaho passed a law making it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion. This year, legislators in twelve states, including Missouri, have passed or are considering bills that they claim would enhance informed consent measures for pregnant women seeking abortions and ensure that women are not coerced into having unwanted abortions. Although it is hard to disagree with legislation that purports to ensure free and informed medical decision-making, I have to wonder why legislators who profess to care so much about pregnant women are only willing to protect some pregnant women — the ones who plan to end their pregnancies — but not the ones who intend to go to term?” In our DVD extra that is available also on our web site Eugene R. Declercq, PhD, Professor of Maternal and Child Health, Boston University School of Public Health, presents the sobering statistics of birth in the United States today and shares data from Listening to Mothers II, the largest survey of women’s experiences during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period.  He shares that one quarter of the survey participants who had cesareans reported that they had experienced pressure from a health professional to have cesarean surgery.  In addition 73% of women who experienced episiotomy, or vaginal cutting, during delivery, reported that they had no choice at all in the matter. Lynn continues “The best available evidence supports vaginal birth after cesarean surgery (VBAC) for most women who have had this surgery. Nevertheless, the International Caesarean Awareness Network has documented over 800 hospitals with explicit policies that require women to undergo a planned repeat surgery. These women are deprived of both the right to give or withhold informed consent, and they are coerced into having repeat major surgery if they want to deliver in any of these hospitals.” I hope you will read the full article and add your voice to this important discussion that is affecting 4.3 million women a year.…

Comments are closed.