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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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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 19 May 2022

Choice Matters

Choice Matters

Reproductive Health Regimes and VBAC

(p.189) 7 Choice Matters
The Business of Birth

Louise Marie Roth

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes the effect of reproductive regimes on VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), midwife-attended birth, and homebirth. Many hospitals have formal or de facto bans on VBAC, even though 60–80% of women who attempt a VBAC will have a successful vaginal birth. Providers have increasingly restricted VBAC since July 1999, but forcing a woman to have major abdominal surgery (or any medical procedure) without her consent is a violation of her civil rights. An analysis of how state-level reproductive rights laws affected the odds of VBAC reveals that VBAC is less likely in fetus-centered regimes with restrictive abortion laws, especially after June 1999. Midwife-attended birth and out-of-hospital birth are also less likely in fetus-centered regimes. Taken together, these results point in the same direction: fetus-centered reproductive rights regimes constrain pregnant women’s ability to make reproductive decisions about birth, not just abortion.

Keywords:   Reproductive justice, Reproductive rights, VBAC, Forced cesareans, Choice, Midwife-attended birth, Out-of-hospital birth

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