The U.S.’s Maternity Care Consent Problem: Pregnant Women Deserve a Choice

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The safety of vaginal births after cesarean has been well-documented. So why do so many U.S. hospitals and providers ban pregnant people from giving birth vaginally?

Hospitals have consistently pushed people into unnecessary cesarean sections through policies known as vaginal-birth-after-cesarean, or VBAC, bans. (j0hnnyc0bra / Flickr)

Like anyone else, people in labor have the right to refuse any medical procedure—but hospitals have consistently pushed people into unnecessary cesarean sections through policies known as vaginal-birth-after-cesarean, or VBAC, bans.

VBAC bans are policies that refuse all patients the opportunity to try for a vaginal delivery birth after a previous C-section birth. In addition to being a violation of basic consent, these bans are against the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the National…

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