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Forced C-Section Akin to Rape?

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One pregnant mom thinks so.

Joy Szabo

Joy Szabo, 32, of Arizona, is being forced to have a C-section due to a new policy at Page Hospital that prohibits vaginal births after cesareans (VBAC).

She had her first and third children vaginally, but a placenta eruption caused her to have an emergency cesarean with her second.

Joy thinks it is against her legal rights to force her to have unnecessary surgery that might place her and her baby at greater risk of harm than delivering naturally. In fact, she's so mad that she has written the following message on her minivan:

"Page Hospital enter my body without my permission ... sounds like rape to me!"

"My doctor doesn't have a problem with me having natural delivery, but said that the hospital does," Joy told the Lake Powell Chronicle. "The fact that I successfully had a VBAC two years ago lowers my risk for rupture, but that doesn't matter since the hospital has decided that all VBACs have to have an 'elective C-section.' I think my definition of 'elective' differs from theirs because I don't want this."

Do you think the hospital should be allowed to force Joy to have a C-section or not?

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46 comments so far | Post a comment now
MotherNature October 6, 2009, 12:54 PM

JUST SAY NO!!!! I too went through this with a doctor (and I use that term loosely!) who was adamant I should have a c-section because I had one 10 TEN years prior ignoring the fact I had given BIRTH just 14 months after the c-section with absolutely no complications. It’s all about the money and has NOTHING to do with science or even plain old logic!

Anonymous October 6, 2009, 1:02 PM

The hospital is more worried about risk of a lawsuit should something go wrong with a VBAC. I don’t think it’s right to force a women to have a c section, but I do understand where they are coming from. I would fight for my rights as a parent to have a VBAC. I also pray that people and judges get some common sense and learn when to sue and figure out the common sense with regards to the situation when rendering verdics!!

Tammy October 6, 2009, 1:07 PM

Why not have your baby at home with a duhla?

ame i. October 6, 2009, 1:38 PM

She wasn’t forced to go to that particular hospital. I’d bet a dime to a dollar that if she had complications due to a VBAC, her family would not have hesitated for a moment before filing a law suit.
She is obviously over-weight. She was a complication waiting to happen.
Sue-happy? I say YES.

Abbie G October 6, 2009, 1:44 PM

go to another hospital?
have the baby at home with a midwife?

I’m pretty sure nobody is going to hold her down and give her a C-Section, seems quite a bit overboard to me! Quit being dense. This is the furthest thing from rape.

Anonymous October 6, 2009, 2:01 PM

I’m with the people who are asking why she won’t have a home birth or go to another hospital. She has choices. A rape victim does not. I think this is disrepectful for those who are dealing with the effects of being raped.

simone October 6, 2009, 2:12 PM

Absolutely not. As much as it stinks, she should change OB/GYN and go to another hospital. Or wait really long to go in once she starts labor. As far as rape goes, I think she should have chosen another analogy. Agree with poster above, she has choices.

Future VBAC Mommy October 6, 2009, 2:33 PM

I know hospitals have made this policy due to the risk of VBAC and the amount of people that sue happy. But I agree with other ppl. on here. She needs to switch to another hospital or find another solution like a doula. My first daughter was delivered C-section because she was transverse but I plan on trying to do a VBAC for the next one. I have already prepared myself that I am going to have find a doctor and a hospital that does not have policies against VBAC. Personally, it’s my body and my choice and if that means I have to find a hospital that is 50 miles away. Then so be it.
Just a side note: Her analogy to it being rape is horrendous. People might listen to her more if she made valid arguments rather then make analogies that are irrelevant.

birdsfly October 6, 2009, 2:49 PM

Maybe her insurance won’t cover for another hospital?

Mr. Mom October 6, 2009, 3:33 PM

Make sure you read the linked article, the post above only gives you the mother’s side of the story. The hospital doesn’t have the staff necessary to cover a VBAC, which is why they have this unwritten policy in place. The mother doesn’t go to another hopsital because this is the only hospital available in a reasonable distance.
I can see both sides of this story - she doesn’t want to have the unneccesary surgery, and the hospital would have to put of other patients medical treatment in order to comply with regulations to provide her with a VBAC, which could take hours or days. I’m actually interested to see what the outcome will be.

kim October 6, 2009, 3:38 PM

It’s not as simple as going to another hospital. Page, AZ is in the middle of nowhere. A gorgeous nowhere. But I think the closest town that may have a hospital capable of doing VBAC deliveries is St. George, UT, 3 1/2 hours away. And I have no idea if they allow VBACs or not. Will midwives do VBACs? I think it’s inappropriate to compare it to rape. But I still think it’s wrong to force a c-section.

Jill (the other one) October 6, 2009, 3:46 PM

Kim is right. I grew up in Page and the hospital there (which is a terrible hospital) is the only one for over 130 miles. I’m not sure the hospitals in Flagstaff (a 2-hour drive) or St. George (which is actually a 2.5 hour drive, not 3.5) are any better equipped to handle the potential complications of a VBAC.

This is why I moved to Phoenix. There are more hospitals down here than I can shake a stick at, and when I had to have an emergency c-section with my baby, there was an OR ready in less than 30 minutes, fully staffed.

Donia October 6, 2009, 4:59 PM

Rape…..Comparing this to Rape? Sicko…That is all I have to say about this woman!!!

monica October 6, 2009, 5:30 PM

I also think it is insensitive to rape victims for her to have that message on her car. She has a choice. Change OB providers, change hospitals, have a home birth. That particular hospital has that policy for a reason that may not make much sense to her, but respect it. I have sympathy for this mother, but I don’t think I’d be going to these extremes. The hospital is not staffed for VBAC; This type of birth is risky for both parties. I just prayer that she delivers a healthy baby and maintains her health in the process. But, the message on her car needs to be removed!

Jody Maley October 6, 2009, 6:00 PM

I’ve had four children and it sounds to me like “elective” is them making your choice.

Good for you for standing up for what YOU want to do!!!

Good luck with the delivery!


Absolute October 6, 2009, 6:34 PM

A hospital doesn’t have to provide every service that people. If she doesn’t like their policies, she doesn’t have to deliver there.

moron October 6, 2009, 6:58 PM

she is being very insensitive to ACTUAL rape victims. She can go somewhere else if she is so insistant on having a VBAC. She’d probably be the first to sue if she tried to VBAC and lost the baby.

Sara October 6, 2009, 8:03 PM

Have you been raped? I’m guessing not because this is far from a reasonable comparison. You have other options! Quit throwing a fit and find a hospital or a doula that will better fit your preference but DO NOT compare it to rape. As someone has been raped I cannot explain how sick to my stomach such a ridiculous comparison makes me!

quesadilla October 6, 2009, 8:33 PM

You have GOT to be kidding me! You’re comparing a medical procedure to RAPE!? You pay a doctor to treat you [and your baby], using his/her best medical judgment. If you do exhaustive, COMPLETE research about this doctor, his/her practice AND life experience, you will MOST LIKELY find that he/she had good reason (in favor of you or your baby) to use a C-section operation, as opposed to a more natural birthing. It could be considered a nonsexual rape — IF it was only you who was being touched by the operation. However, people need to STOP thinking that childbirth is primarily [or all] about the mother. Motherhood has little if ANYTHING to do with the mother. Once you become a mother (speaking figuratively), YOUR life ENDS, and your CHILD’s BEGINS.

bonita1 October 6, 2009, 9:02 PM

This is so wrong for her to compare it to rape…insensitive to actual victims.

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