So you know what’s always fun? When a newspaper digs up a study from the “well, duh” files, decides that it needs fresh coat of paint, and decides to use the “women are stupid and selfish” brush.
And here we go, my fix for the week: an Australian newspaper on how unnecesasry c-sections are dangerous.
WOMEN who choose caesarean births double the risk of death and illness to themselves and the baby, a new study has found.
Doctors are now urging women to give birth naturally if they can.
Doctors say most women who choose caesarean sections do so for important medical and psychological reasons, but there are a number who just want to avoid a vaginal birth.
And some doctors encourage the decision because of the decreased legal liability. . . .
The report published yesterday in the British Medical Journal found non-emergency caesareans were linked to twice the risk of death, hysterectomy, blood transfusions and admission to intensive care, compared to women who had a vaginal birth.
There was a five times higher risk of having to have antibiotic treatment after birth.
There also is a 70 per cent higher chance of a baby born by either elective or medically-advised caesarean dying before discharge from hospital.
Well, yes, you may be saying, doctors are performing too many c-sections that women don’t need, and it’s causing a lot of problems. We know that. I don’t see any woman-hate!
Well, that’s because you missed the little line about women “who just want to avoid a vaginal birth.” The paper sure didn’t! What’s the title of the article?
Vain C-sections kill more babies
Ah, yes. It’s not the c-section, it’s the vanity. Doctors aren’t performing c-sections for their vanity, since regardless of how they deliver the baby, their vaginas aren’t going to change, so it has to be the woman’s fault. Nope, the problem isn’t doctors trying to needlessly talk women into c-sections because of liability concerns, time concerns or general laziness or impatience. It’s the women who have caused the 40% increase in c-section rates in the U.S. in the last ten years. They probably don’t want labor to interfere with their hair appointments!
Before someone says it: yes, there is a small number of women who schedule c-sections for non-medical reasons. They are the minority, and in either case shouldn’t doctors being saying “that’s not healthy?” Not because I think that doctors should make medical decisions for women — in fact, that’s precisely what I’m arguing against — but because most of this small minority of women probably don’t know. C-sections have become so common that no one bats an eye anymore. And hell, they always go well on TV. They always save lives on TV (as they should when properly performed in real life) instead of taking them.
But seeing as how 29% of babies in the U.S. are born via c-section (!) and women are doing their best to prevent this and not being heard, there’s no way that this is a “vain woman” problem. It’s a “many doctors don’t listen to their patients, particularly female ones” problem, an “intimidating women with unnecessary fear” problem, a “doctors are more worried about lawsuits than the welfare of their patients” problem and a “birth is over-medicalized because it makes more money that way” problem.
Oh, and notice how the study found that women who have c-sections have twice the risk of “death, hysterectomy, blood transfusions and admission to intensive care, compared to women who had a vaginal birth,” but it’s the babies and only the babies who are being “killed?” That’s some nice “women aren’t a part of pregnancy” and “babies are more important than their mothers” anti-choice rhetoric slipping in.
So, to sum up, remember: the c-section problem is not about doctors making birth-related decisions that are harmful and potentially fatal to both woman and baby without providing the woman in question with all of the facts, but about selfish women killing their babies cause they’re selfish, oh, and selfish, too. Good to know.