As an organizer for this cause, I want to stress that birth center supporters believe that every family should be able to choose where they give birth, whether it's in a hospital, birth center or home. This bill is specifically about facilities. Allow me to clarify what some news organizations are having difficulty reporting. DHEC, last fall, chose to suddenly reinterpret a law that goes back to 1976. Most birth centers in South Carolina DO have agreements with physicians and/or hospitals to transfer patients when the occasion arises. What DHEC is now suddenly asking is for physicians to actually COME to the birth center, to tell the midwives what they already know. Doing so delays care of the mother and baby, possibly putting their lives in danger. Charleston Birth Place has had a good system in place since its opening in 2007 that has resulted in a 7% c-section rate (compared to +30% in SC hospitals) and no maternal or neonatal fatalities. Midwives are trained to know what to do in the event of an emergency. The system works!
My daughter was born at CBP in 2011, and it was the greatest experience of my life. The loving, caring and professional environment allowed my husband and I to have the greatest birth experience. It would be a tragedy to remove CBP, or any other South Carolina birth center, as a choice for this state's women. I've already sent a letter in support of CBP to Governor Haley, Sen. Kimpson and Rep. Stavrinakis. I hope they stand up for CBP too.
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