Birthing Choices a Feminist Issue?


Courtroom Mama on Feministing wants to know what you think about choices in birth, with the spectrum given ranging from birth with no intervention to scheduled elective c-section for birth.


I am curious to hear what other people have to say, because I think that a lot of feminists view elective caesareans and unassisted birth as value-free points on a continuum of equally-valid birth choices. I can’t say that I really agree, as the astronomical rate of medical interventions and women’s accounts of feeling “rushed” or “pressured” (cue millionth endorsement of The Business of Being Born and Pushed , etc., etc.) lead me to believe that a number of these interventions —especially caesareans— are not the product of fully informed medical consent. Of course, I’ll add the disclaimer of “if a woman truly understands the risks of a caesarean and decides that it is what’s best for her and her family, then more power to her,” but I can’t help but think that flippant stuff like that evinces a disregard for 1) the real dangers of a major abdominal surgery; and 2) the value of the pregnant woman’s body per se (i.e. not as vessel/incubator/time-bomb etc.). Just cut on the dotted line and remove fetus! Not recommended beyond three uses.