GAMC Customer Service
Attention Kevin Roberts or
Cheif of Staff Michelle Cosgrove or
OB Chair Selena Lantry
1509 Wilson Terrace
Glendale, CA 91206
To whom this may concern:
On September 7, 2016, a multitude of people—mainly women and some men and children—rallied outside of Glendale Adventist Medical Center to stand up against the ban on vaginal breech birth. I was there with the intention of showing my disapproval of the ban in addition to raising awareness of our need for better maternity care in general. I was there rallying for options to exist for pregnant women.
I considered writing a blog post to tell people about the rally I attended against GAMC’s ban on vaginal breech birth, but then I realized I wouldn’t actually be reaching the people that need to read this. I’ve gone ahead and sent a copy of this to all the appropriate people and departments as well as putting it up on my blog.
Please don’t take this as a threat as my intention is not to blame you or call you unethical. No. I am writing this letter to encourage you to be a part of the solution instead of the problem. I am writing to challenge you to be better than the hospitals who do not allow doctors to provide pregnant women with options, better than the insurance companies who force providers to practice unethical care, and better than the academic institutions who decide that teaching how to provide options to pregnant women is not important.
Let me take a step back. I’d like to invite the personnel who is reading this letter—whether it be Kevin Roberts, Michelle Cosgrove, Selena Lantry, or “whom it may concern” in the GAMC Customer Service department—to try and understand that you are one person affecting thousands upon thousands of women, children, and families as a whole. Potentially generations. As an employee of a hospital, you get to clock out at the end of the day, go home, and see your family. There are women who can’t emotionally, mentally, or physically be with their families because they are healing from traumatic experiences that can result from not being informed or not being allowed to make choices. I’ll say it again. You can be a part of the solution by no longer being a part of the problem.
In case you didn’t know, vaginal delivery of a breech baby used to be taught in medical school. Since the Term Breech Trial study in 2001, less and less—rarely any nowadays—doctors are being taught to safely deliver breech babies. Now, I know I don’t have any initials behind my name to give me the credit of knowing this as a fact, but when I hear about bans like the one on vaginal breech birth, it’s obvious that hospitals don’t have the confidence to allow their doctors to attend such births. Sadly, these bans are forcing doctors that are skilled to stop practicing, and they are bullying providers by telling them that they are at risk of being sanctioned. How does this even make sense? How do you feel it is morally alright to stand behind this broken system?
I invite you to stand with us—women, men, and children—because it affects all of us. By keeping this ban in place, you are affecting generations to come. If we remove vaginal breech birth as a viable option for pregnant women, we are allowing ourselves to give into something that is unnatural, unnecessary cesareans. I feel that we need to reserve cesareans for emergencies and for the woman who choose it on their own. Providers and institutions cannot be making these decisions for women. Especially not without asking!
I challenge you to be the example by allowing women to start deciding for themselves. I plead you to stop forcing women into situations that take their power away. You have a skilled provider on staff! Don’t let his knowledge and skills go to waste. Instead of stopping his practice, how are you not celebrating the specialty that Dr. Wu brings to your facility?
This ban is forcing us into an evolution that does not sit well with our humanity. We need your help to preserve the natural abilities of a woman’s body.
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with why I feel passionate enough about this to write to you. Yes, I am standing up to speak for options for all pregnant women. However, my main driving force are my children, especially my daughter. I want to know that I did my part to keep humanity in childbirth. I want to know that my daughter will have options; and although I know it is not possible for every hospital, doctor, insurance company, and/or university to understand how important respectful and humanized childbirth is, I prefer to have had said something than nothing at all.
There is still time to correct the damage that has been done by taking away the option of vaginal breech birth. I have high hopes that you will make the right choice.
Thank you for your time and attention to this very important matter,
cc: Kevin Roberts, GAMC Customer Service, Michelle Cosgrove, Chief of Staff, Selena Lantry, OB Chair, Adventist Health Compliance Program