Have surgery or we’ll try to have your children taken from you.
That’s what Bayfont Health, a hospital in Port Charlotte, Florida, has effectively told Jennifer Goodall.
The native of Coral Gables and mother of three is now 41 weeks into her fourth pregnancy. Her other children were delivered by cesarean section as a matter of medical necessity but no medial reason has been given to suggest she needs one in this case. After considering the facts and her options Goodall determined that she wanted to attempt a normal vaginal birth with this child, only moving to surgical delivery if complications during the birth called for it.
The hospital refused. On July 10 she received a letter from the chief financial officer of the hospital warning her that she would be reported to the Department of Children and Family services and that they would seek a court order to allow them to perform a c-section if she sought care in their hospital regardless of her refusal to consent.
Goodall filed a request for a restraining order to prevent the hospital from forcing a procedure on her, but Federal District Judge John Steele refused, citing the right of the doctor and the hospital to determine what procedures and in what manner they perform in their facilities.
Now Jennifer Goodall faces the choice of trying to find another hospital that might honor her wishes, having her baby at home despite the possible risks or capitulating to the strong arm tactics of Bayfront Health. She’s not unmindful of the possibility that a c-section might become necessary in the event of complications.
“I would definitely consent to surgery if there were any indication during labor that it is necessary,” Goodall added. “I am trying to make the decision that will be safest for both me and my baby, and give me the greatest chance at being able to heal quickly after my child is born so I can care for my newborn and my three other children.” (via http://rhrealitycheck.org/...)This is not an isolated incident.
In 2011 Rinat Dray gave birth to her third son, Yosef. She has since filed a lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital for malpractice, contending that they pressured her into having a cesarean despite her wishes.
In 2009 a Leon County Circuit Court ordered Samantha Burton to remain in the hospital and submit to whatever treatments were determined by the doctors.
In 2004 a Utah hospital sought a court order to allow them to perform a c-section on Amber Marlowe who was carrying a large child and wanted to attempt vaginal birth. The court determine the hospital could perform the procedure against the wishes of the mother if the woman checked back into their hospital – she had checked out against medical advice because of the attempts to force a surgery on her that she did not want.
Also in 2004 a Utah woman was charged with the murder of one of her twins after the child was stillborn. The prosecution contended that the mother’s delay of a cesarean section was criminal.
In 1999 a woman in Tallahassee, Florida was forced by a district court to have a cesarean section after a doctor discovered she had previously had a child by c-section. The court held that the interests of the woman were outweighed by the State’s interest in protecting the life of the unborn child. Further they determined that Roe v. Wade did not apply in the case, stating that carrying a child was a greater intrusion on a woman’s rights than being forced into a surgical procedure.
These kinds of actions serve to reduce women to little more than breeding stock. They are a clear and present danger to the right of every woman to autonomy. No matter who you are, you are supposed to have the right to make your own medical decisions. The actions of the courts and these hospitals shows a pattern of contempt for women, for their ability to make their own decisions and for their right to personal integrity.