Monday, October 19, 2009

Activism: Bodily Autonomy Edition

Today I thought I'd share some links about choice. We don't quite live in a libertarian society, but ultimately we each have control when it comes to our own lives: what to eat, where to live, what time to wake up in the morning. However, lately it seems that the choices we have surrounding bodily autonomy seem to be ignored for some reason-well, if those choices involve giving birth.

The first is a link about a Joy Szabo, a woman semi-famous in the news recently for her desire to deliver her child vaginally. Her first birth was a c-section and her second an uneventful VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) in her local hospital. Now, the hospital policy says no to VBACs and will seek a court order for her to have a c-section. Why

An interesting article from the Huffington Post from July asks "Is a Woman in Labor a 'Person'?". It examines the rights we women as patients have when it comes to making our medical decisions when in birth. We have the right to refuse treatment, but do we really?

Why I chose a midwife: The Unneceserean shares a woman's story of her OB's policies on labor and delivery. It is truly scary. My favorite quote is:

Your legs will be positioned in the standard delivery stirrups. This is the most comfortable position for you. It also provides maximum space in your pelvis, minimizing the risk of trauma to you and your baby during delivery.

Because nothing is more comfortable than your legs in stirrups....wait. As a physiologist, I am amazed that he really believes this creates the widest pelvic area. Isn't he forgetting about the sacrum? Giving Birth Naturally sums up the details for me.

Since the topic is Bodily Integrity/Autonomy, I feel compelled to share Intact America's 'An Open Letter to the American Academy of Pediatrics' regarding the AAP's policy on circumcision. Please take the time to sign the petition.

Intact America explains in the simplest and most concise way the reasons Will and I are not circumcising this little boy. For us, more than anything it came down to "Whose Body, Whose Choice?". We were also shocked at how horrifying the actual procedure is. 

A more humorous, while factual, take on the controversial topic is the Circumcision episode of Penn and Teller's BULLSH*T! (Be aware that the video contains expletive language and some nudity--I mean, it is Penn and Teller, people. Just a warning. Safe for anyone who doesn't mind HBO.)

This sums up our first edition of Activism. Thanks for reading!

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