Defend right to choose

  • Friday, December 27, 2013

Defend right to choose

To the Editor:

Do you think the government should tell you which doctor or hospital you should go to?

I can only imagine that your answer is a loud “No!” but that is exactly what will occur if South Carolina’s DHEC has its way and our state legislators do not act immediately.

The Charleston Birth Place (CBP) is a safe, cost-effective alternative to a conventional hospital birth for low-risk women who want a natural, vaginal birth. Staffed by highly skilled certified nurse midwives, the numbers speak for themselves. Since 2007 until June of 2013, only 0.1% of laboring women have ever been transferred to Trident Medical Center due to an acute emergency.

Furthermore, only 0.3% of newborns have been transferred to the hospital for the same reason. They have never had a maternal or neonatal mortality and meet the national birth center standards.

Do you like saving money? I know I do and CBP does just that! The average cost of a birthing center birth is just $2,277. At a hospital, the same birth costs approximately $8,920 while a C-section about $14,900.

I had my daughter at CBP in 2011 and can testify to the high quality of care afforded by the certified nurse midwives. I am sure that if I had chosen a hospital birth, I would have been given unnecessary and costly interventions to speed up my lengthy labor.

CBP has the time and commitment to give each mother a minimally invasive delivery. I felt confident knowing that the midwives would not rush me or my baby and that if a problem did arise, the hospital was less than a mile away and one of their OB-GYNs on call would meet us there.

If our state representatives want the support/vote of women in South Carolina, they need to show us that they will defend our right to choose where we give birth.

They can do this by speedily (DHEC has given the birth center only 6 months) passing through legislation updating South Carolina’s outdated birthing center standards, thus matching national ones. I’m afraid to say that only this will allow CBP (and other state birthing centers) to keep its doors open to the women of South Carolina who certainly deserve a birthing choice.

Megan Gibbons Araya

Concerned Citizen, mother


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