Monday, October 5, 2009

Arizona woman fights VBAC ban

Joy Szabo had a normal vaginal delivery for her first child, then an emergency c-section for her second, followed by a successful VBAC for her third. By the time she was pregnant with her fourth, the hospital in her town had banned VBACs. Yes, the same hospital where she had just had a successful VBAC two years earlier. So she decided to go out and make some noise about it.

Her local newspaper wrote an article about her situation. The Unnecesarean posted excerpts from her story and contact info for the hospital, prompting a Twitter response from the hospital's PR person (read all the way down the entry). Now the ICAN blog has Joy's story in her own words. Here's a bit from her second meeting with the hospital CEO:

...I asked why they are doing labor and delivery if they cannot offer a timely cesarean. She defended the hospital, saying that they can do emergency cesaereans, but did not want to accept the risk of VBAC. I asked what the hospital policy is if I show up and just refuse to consent to a cesarean. She said they would seek a court order. She repeated to me that Page Hospital does not have the facilities nessasary to handle an emergency.

(My translation: "Can Page Hospital handle an emergency c-section?" "Yes! No! Depends on who's asking! Go away or I'll get a court order!")

The newspaper article features a photo of the kick-ass message she's painted on her minivan, equating her hospital's threat to get a court order for a cesarean with rape. Because of the VBAC ban not only in her hometown, but on multiple hospitals closer to where she lives, as of now Joy Szabo has decided to try to find an OB/hospital in Phoenix - a 5 hour drive from her home - that will work with her VBAC.

The ICAN blog has links for "mom-sized" activism (or really, any busy-person-sized). Tell Page Hospital and the Banner hospital system that forcing a mom with 3 children to travel hundreds of miles just to give birth as her body intended, and threatening her with a court order for unwanted surgery...well, that's just Not Cool. And yes, that last part does sound a lot like rape.

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