Choices made about a woman’s pregnancy are intended to be personal. Each individual has the right to his or her own body and to decide what happens to it. However, these choices regarding pregnancy procedures are more often now made for the patient regardless of her original desires. Some women go into their pregnancy expecting a typical vaginal birth delivery, free of medication, and with the expectation for a cesarean section only in an emergency. This emergency being that the baby’s life is in danger. As seen in The Business of being born, Cesarean sections are becoming the norm.
Women are being convinced to take medicine that can induce labor, but even more invading on personal freedoms, medicine to take away pain than a woman was prepared to face as part of her journey. This pain medication often leads to complications, causing the avoidable emergency. The film leads us to believe that the persistent doctors who prescribe the pain medication take away our free choice. Statements such as “Women who request an epidural have more severe pain and/or larger babies, which are predictive of difficult labors that may have required a C-section anyway,”(Cynthia Wong, M.D), are emphasized in the film to be excuses for a C-section that could have been avoided. These caesarean sections are often done out of convenience for the doctors. Joy Szabo, “now pregnant with her fourth child, is being forced to have a caesarean due to lack of hospital staffing”(Mary Forney, CNN iReport). When the freedom to make a personal decision regarding ones body is disregarded, I question if choice will remain as a supposed right in the future.
Epstein, Abby, Amy Slotnick, Paulo Netto, Ricki Lake, Madeleine Gavin, and André Pluess. The Business of Being Born. Burbank, Calif.: New Line Home Entertainment, 2008.