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Can You Legally Refuse a C-Section?

In 2006, a mom in New Jersey had her newborn daughter taken from her custody while still at the hospital. Mom's offense? She wouldn’t consent to a c-section as she was about to give birth.

What happened next was heartbreaking. Doctors claimed the baby was in distress, but Mom had a vaginal delivery of a perfectly healthy girl. Nevertheless, the hospital determined that she had abused her child by 1) refusing the c-section and 2) acting "erratic" while in labor.

In the course of that day, it came out that Mom had been under psychiatric care for the last 12 years. She and the father were officially charged with abuse and neglect.

The child has been in foster care for 2 years now. Two weeks ago the judgment against the father was reversed, but the judgment against the mother stands. Read that full ruling here.

Here's another legal point of view: Is a Woman a "Person"? New Assaults on Pregnant Women's Civil Rights in a NJ Case.

And check out our Babytalk article on this very issue: Coercive C-Sections

What do you think about this?

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