Dear ACOG,

(I'm going to have to post my response to ACOG's latest statement on homebirths in several parts, because there's just so much to say. My first will be in letter format, thanking ACOG for all the good works they do.)

I am writing to thank you for your news release providing a statement on homebirths. Your honesty and complete willingness to come out and make a public assault on women's rights is refreshing. Most organizations who conduct business that undermines women do so quietly and with subtlety, whereas you put your complete inability to trust that women might actually know what's best for their body and their baby right out in the open. Bravo!

I'd also like to thank you for clearing up some misconceptions I've clearly had about the reason for the skyrocketing Cesarean rate. I thought maybe it was because most breech babies are now born by Cesarean because your members no longer have the skills necessary to assist a vaginal breech delivery, or because at least 300 hospitals in the U.S. have banned VBACs, and women who have had previous Cesarean deliveries are often being forced into another one. Or gosh, even maybe due to the fact that the vast majority of labors in the country are being either induced or augmented with Pitocin requiring continuous fetal monitoring which is notorious for raising the odds of a surgical delivery. But thanks to your statement, that the Cesarean rate is due to the "rising tide of high-risk pregnancies due to maternal age, overweight, obesity and diabetes", I now realize women are being surgically delivered because we're just too fat and old to do it the old fashioned way!

Thank you also for realizing that women are so brainless and negligent for their welfare and that of their baby that they will choose homebirth because it is "trendy". To me it appears the epidural seems to be more "fashionable" since 80% of women now opt for such pain relief while less than 1% of women are choosing homebirth, but I'm so glad you cleared up that silly theory! I'm sure you're equally concerned about women choosing elective Cesareans because of Britney Spears and Posh Spice. You know, especially since babies born via planned repeat Cesarean have a 4 times greater risk of respiratory distress. Especially since even women having their first Cesarean double their chances of having a peripartum hysterectomy, while women on their second or third have an 18 times greater risk. But I'm sure you're on top of that, and what can you do if women are just choosing to have them, right? And it's not like you can just make your OB's perform VBACs, right?
I'm glad you've clarified your position on Birth Plans. I'm sure now your members will start taking them seriously. Because you know, before this statement, a lot of OB's were reacting to Birth Plans with reactions from ridicule to outright rage. I'm sure the news will also trickle down to those OB's who pressure hospital childbirth educators not to teach pregnant couples about Birth Plans.

Lastly, I want to thank you for being so clear and open on just how important you think "the birth process" is. Selfish is the woman who dares not to let the birth process unfold just how her OB actively manages it. Ignorant is the woman who expects something out of it besides a scar and a healthy baby. The homebirth movement must include all the women who don't have that incredibly powerful instinct to protect their unborn baby the second they find out they are pregnant.

Thank you, ACOG, for exposing yourself and women for what they are. I hope you can continue to undermine women's rights in an open forum, because trust me, more women need to realize what ACOG is all about.



Mitchell Clan said...

Thursday, February 7, 2008
ICAN's response to ACOG and AABC statements
Redondo Beach, CA, February 7, 2008: The International Cesarean Awareness Network (www.ican-online.org) would like to publicly condemn both the AABC (American Association of Birth Centers) and the ACOG (The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) for their statements* this week that limit not only women's choices in birth but imply that birth is a fashion trend rather than a safety concern.

Since VBAC is the biological normal outcome of a pregnancy after cesarean, ICAN encourages women to get all of the facts about vaginal birth and elective cesarean before making a choice. This decision should not include weighing the choices of your doctor's malpractice payments but only be a concern of the mother, her baby and their health and safety.

Since some mothers will make the choice to give birth outside of the hospital, we encourage the AABC to not cave into ACOG's demands that all women give birth in a hospital facility with a surgical specialist, but instead allow women to make their own choices about care providers, birth settings and risk factors. ICAN respects the intelligence of modern women and accepts that the amount of information available about VBAC and elective repeat cesarean should serve as informed consent.

ICAN further encourages the governments of individual states to look closely at their cesarean rates (31.1% national cesarean rate as of 2006) and the informed consent laws that apply and help women to reach a standard of care that lowers the risks of major surgery and the risks of elective or coerced cesarean without medical indication. Women and children should not bear the brunt of malpractice risks being conveyed into physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health risks in order to protect their physicians.

Mission statement: ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean. There are more than 94 ICAN Chapters across North America, which hold educational and support meetings for people interested in cesarean prevention and recovery.

* AABC statement: http://www.birthcenters.org/files/file.php?id=2&file=file&file_type=file_type
ACOG statement: http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr02-06-08-2.cfm

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Open a new window said...

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