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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Some upset over ACOG's "April Fool's" Press Release on Elective Cesarean

In a recent April Fool's prank, someone, somewhere, issued a fake press release supposedly from ACOG that touted the headline, "ACOG announces plan to stop elective c-sections." Collective eyebrows, including mine, raised in a "What the (!&%(?" moment, before realizing the truth. (The smiley face in the ACOG logo was a dead giveaway.)

Some, including this blogger, thought it was in very poor taste. Perhaps, if it had really come from ACOG. Otherwise, I don't see a whole lot wrong with it.

(This author also said she tried looking for it, but couldn't find it on line and figured ACOG was taking measures to "remove" the falsified document from web pages everywhere. If you do a Google search, you'll still find a lot of hits - and ACOG would essentially have to ask web masters - including those from natural-birth supporting sites like, to remove the offending link. Which I seriously doubt they would agree to do.)

At any rate, I agree with the author, who sums the elective cesarean debate up nicely: if you want to have one, and are truly informed of the risks and possible benefits of doing so, you should be supported in your decision. However, the same is not true, sadly, for those women do no not want a cesarean, or who decide to have a natural or normal birth.

In the comments section, it didn't take long before women were quick to be offended: "I had two cesareans and loved them! They were wonderful!" Thankfully, someone further down told this mom, "You are missing the point."

We can argue that these women need to be totally informed of their decision - but I grow suspect when I wonder where, exactly, they are getting their information from. The same OB who, in my last post, told his patient a cesarean was "100 percent safe?" To some, that's their idea of informed consent. To the rest of us, it's a complete joke, and a very misleading, potentially dangerous one at that.

I'd like to see this right to choose extended more to women who seek a VBAC, or perhaps those who refuse a cesarean and end up having an extremely healthy, normal birth and baby - yet some entity in the hospital decides to have children's services investigate. If you have the right to an abortion, as one doctor suggests, you should have the right to choose a cesarean - but what about the right to not choose one?

It's clear to me that when it comes to the birthing choices of women, ACOG doesn't really give a crap. Because they aren't willing to actually make sure that physicians are adhering to their guidelines, it tells me they are all about the doctors, instead of what's best for the patient. Sure, they want to extend even women who have had two prior cesareans the "right" to have a VBAC, but what physician is going to back them up on that? I find many physicians like to get all preachy about what ACOG suggests and doesn't suggest - when it comes to something they mutually agree on, like the safety of home births. ACOG has definitely spoken up about that, and many doctors are in agreement. But what about the stuff they don't agree on? Is ACOG going to investigate a doctor who is unaffectionately known as "Dr. Cut and Slice" by many of his staff? When a moniker like that is given to a doctor, I feel so sorry for the patient, who is usually the last to know.

More reading:
Is ACOG pulling an April Fool's Day prank?
ACOG Announces Plan to Stop Elective C-Sections
The "C" in ACOG stands for "Castrated"