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The Business of BirthMalpractice and Maternity Care in the United States$
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Louise Marie Roth

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479812257

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479812257.001.0001

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What’s the Rush?

What’s the Rush?

Tort Laws and Elective Early-Term Births

(p.94) 4 What’s the Rush?
The Business of Birth

Louise Marie Roth

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes changes over time in early-term births. Labor induction rates have risen over time and many experts speculate that at least half of inductions are elective. Popular accounts suggest that pregnant women are driving this by requesting inductions. Healthcare providers are also part of the story because they can refuse women’s requests, but hospitals and OB/GYN practices benefit enormously from scheduling births even though they pose medical risks. Analyses of early-term births in low-risk pregnancies reveal that providers are more likely to take unnecessary risks in states with tort reforms that limit their liability risk. This effect was strongest during the period before 2009, when the strength of professional recommendations against early elective induction had eroded.

Keywords:   Induction of labor, Early-term birth, Elective delivery, Tort law, Tort reforms

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