What would VBAC activists have done for Jennifer Goodall if her baby had died? Not a damn thing.

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Yesterday I wrote about Jennifer Goodall, the Florida woman who wanted to attempt a VBAC after 3 previous C-sections, and the misinformation used by VBAC activists to support her decision.

Not a single organization or article that supported Goodhall had accurate statistics on the real risk that Goodhall faced. Most substituted statistics that applied to women who have had one previous C-section not three. All implied that Goodall was basing her decision on scientific evidence when that was completely false. All implied that the risk of C-section for Goodall and her baby was higher than the risk of attempted VBAC which was also completely false.

Fortunately, Goodall did what she should have done in the first place. She went to a different hospital prepared to handle her (ill advised, unsupported by medical evidence) attempt at vaginal birth. Not surprisingly, she failed in her attempt, confirming the concerns of the original hospital. The patients who face the greatest risk of rupture, death of the baby, hysterectomy and death of the mother are women who are unsuccessful in a VBAC attempt.

Lots of organizations were eager to use Goodall’s situation to advance their organizational agenda. They professed themselves to be deeply concerned for and deeply supportive of Jennifer Goodall. But what would they have done if Goodall’s uterus and ruptured and her baby died? Not a damn thing!

The support of Jennifer Goodall extended only up to the moment until she suffered a complication from attempted VBAC and ceased to be politically useful to them.

Consider the case of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), one of the organizations that sponsored a Change.org petition supporting Goodall’s desire to attempt a vaginal birth. The petition was filled with erroneous, inapplicable statistics (including the thoroughly discredited “optimal C-section rate withdrawn by the World Health Organization) and grossly deceptive misrepresentations of the position of obstetric organizations.

ICAN encouraged Goodall, supplied the inaccurate statistics on which she appears to have based her decision and supported her 100%. Considering how they encouraged her to risk her baby’s life and her own life, it’s worth asking what they planned to do to help her if the decision they were encouraging turned out to be deadly.

Here’s ICAN’s disclaimer, indicating just how far they are willing to go in taking responsibility for the medical information and encouragement they offer:

In no event will ICAN be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you or anyone else in reliance upon the information contained on or provided through the website.

Specifically:

… Use of this website is at your own risk… The website is presented by ICAN for the sole purpose of disseminating general health information for public benefit. Always seek the advice of your midwife, physician, nurse or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or for answers to any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The website and any information provided on the website are not intended to constitute the practice of or furnishing of medical, nursing, or professional health care advice, diagnosis, consultation or treatment or services in any jurisdiction.

ICAN is on record as being unwilling to stand behind their own information, acknowledges that they are in no position to assess and advise anyone of the specific treatment that is best for them, and emphasizes that only the providers actually caring for a woman are capable of offering her an accurate assessment of the risks she faces and the treatment course that is advisable in her specific cases.

The biggest irony, though, is that by putting a disclaimer on their website, ICAN is doing PRECISELY what it claims to abhor among obstetricians. ICAN is behaving defensively. The most important thing that they want you to know about their website and the information that they offer is that they will not take any responsibility to ensure that it is accurate or to prevent harms that arise from people using it. If your baby dies or you die because you actually believed what ICAN told you, too bad for you for being gullible enough to believe a website that doesn’t even stand behind its own information.

The folks at ICAN have the unmitigated gall to rail against “defensive medicine” when a hospital wants to make sure that neither a mother nor her baby die, while simultaneously practicing defensive medicine by disclaiming their own advice and support.

What would ICAN and other VBAC activists done for Goodall if her baby had died? Less than nothing, pointing to the legal language they’ve draped over their site specifically absolving themselves for ensuring the accuracy of their information, let alone whether their information was applicable to the woman who used it.

So here’s my question for anyone contemplating VBAC against an obstetrician’s advice:

Who is likely to be more concerned with whether you and/or your baby live or die, the obstetrician and hospital who are prepared to take responsibility for the outcome, or the organization and activists that are happy to support you for their own political benefit and equally happy to dump you if you actually trust them?

  • Carolina

    This is totally, completely off-topic, but I like the commenters here better than many places on the internet. Has anyone ever going through fertility treatments and then freaked out when they worked? I just found out I’m pregnant from a frozen embryo transfer. I did four rounds of IUI, a fresh IVF, and then the FET and spent about $20k out of pocket. I thought I desperately wanted another baby. My daughter desperately wants a sibling (she prayers for a little sister every night). So why am I panicking now about money, my job, childcare, etc. and wondering if we did the right thing? Am I crazy, or has anyone ever experienced this? (to be clear, I don’t think I’m in danger mentally – just really, really anxious and scared)

    • guest

      I think that is a completely normal reaction for ANY pregnancy, including carefully planned ones! Regardless of the circumstances, it takes some time for the news to sink in, hence the panic. Congratulations to you!!!

    • Smoochagator

      Oh honey. I have felt panic every single time I got pregnant, without fertility treatments, and every single time I WANTED to get pregnant and was ACTIVELY TRYING to conceive. I think that realization that oh sh*t, my life has changed and I can’t take it back, hits every mom. It’s okay to be a little freaked out.

    • Anna T

      No fertility treatments, but I’ve been trying for a child for a relatively long time – my youngest is nearly 4, and I’ve wanted another since she turned about 2. I’m now 17 weeks along. And guess what? When I found out, I was just as panicky as you (although I was hoping, and praying for another child).

    • Burgundy

      Congratulations!! Both my husband and I got really scared when we found out we were pregnant with the 2nd one. No fertility treatments and she was not a surprised baby. I think it is just a part of being pregnant.

    • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kq

      Congratulations!!

      Like the other commenters, I felt completely panicked when I found out I was really pregnant – also not fertility treatments, but all 3 times (2 were losses – we’re ok tho) and the third. We desperately wanted a baby, had spent a year planning before we started trying, and I knew I wanted a kid my whole life. I spent the first month or so just anxious and scared and depressed each time. Like, what were we THINKING! I suspect it’s normal – I mean, having a baby IS a big deal, so it makes sense we’d all panic a bit!

      • Carolina

        Thank you! I’m glad you’re still commenting here (didn’t realize you changed your username). I’ve really enjoyed your blog.

    • Amy M

      I did IVF, and though I didn’t freak out upon finding out about the pregnancy, I freaked right out when we found out (at 7wks in) that it was ID twins (from a single embryo transfer). Major panic attack at that point, so yeah, I think I kinda know where you are coming from. (and I hope you only have one in there.) (and that I haven’t scared you further.) (it’s pretty rare to have a splitter from an embryo transfer, especially a frozen)

      Anyway, congratulations! You will be fine and your daughter will be so excited to have a sibling when the new one comes along. :)

    • Carolina

      Thanks, you guys! I just needed a little validation that I’m not crazy. there is a possibility of twins. We transferred two, which is recommended for my age (and we transferred two with the failed fresh cycle, so….). Cannot lie that the possibility of twins is adding to the panic. I pray it’s only one, but then I feel bad for not wanting one of the embryos to make it. Sigh… One day at a time. I’m glad there are others who temporarily freaked out over a wanted pregnancy. I thought I’d be completely jubilant, so the mixed feelings concerned me :)

      • anion

        Ha, I’ll go you one better (I say facetiously). :-) My second was a surprise. I was sort-of pleased, I mean, I hadn’t really been sure I wanted another so I was pleased but freaked out/kind of unhappy, actually (I burst into tears when I saw those blue lines).

        I spent most of the pregnancy kind of ambivalent. One day I’d be excited and thrilled, the next resentful that I couldn’t have a beer or that it was hard to sleep or whatever for this baby I hadn’t planned. I’d had PPD with my first, hadn’t really been able to breastfeed due to pain/low supply, and a hard time adjusting, so I was very worried about dealing with all of that again and kind of dreading it. Our first (and please don’t think I don’t also love her fiercely and intensely) is somewhere on the very high end of the autism spectrum–she was sort-of diagnosed, and then they said no, and then they said they don’t know, and she’s kind of quirky and can be a little difficult to deal with sometimes, and I was very afraid she would feel cheated or that we were doing something that would hurt her or damage her in some way.

        Then she was born, and it was like all of the good things about being a new mom that I’d missed out on before landed on my head in a warm gooey heap. No PPD. No sorrow at all, no difficulty with anything. Those first few months I’d been so unhappy thinking about are still–to this day, almost ten years later–the absolute best months of my entire life, and that baby is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I look back and cannot imagine how I would have felt or what our lives would be if we hadn’t messed up the birth control one afternoon. :-) She and her older sister are incredibly close, and being a big sister helped our eldest in amazing ways.

        So please do NOT worry about feeling ambivalent. Ambivalence or fear means nothing; they’re both perfectly normal. If the choice had been given to me to get pregnant with #2 or not I’d have said no, and I was a grumpy jerk about it throughout the pregnancy, and it did not affect my feelings for my baby one bit. She thrills me every single day.

        A huge CONGRATULATIONS to you!!!

      • Stacy48918

        On a birth board I lurk on there’s an IVF mom that transferred three, thinking they’d get 1 baby (not the best quality embryos I guess). Well all three took and one split! So she’s currently about 29 weeks with quads -a set of fraternal di-di boys and a set of identical mo-di girls. Crazy!

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      It sounds like you’re in that particular category of nuts known as “normal” and “healthy”. You sound like a responsible mother worrying normally about how she’s going to handle things with a new baby to me. You’ll do great!

    • ihateslugs

      Trust me: you don’t have to go through fertility treatments to have these feelings! My husband and I started trying for number two after months of discussion and contemplation about whether or not we were “ready.” We felt we were. Boom, we got pregnant right away, and all of a sudden, many of those feelings of being sure about another child were replaced with doubt, fear, and worries that we were making a huge mistake. Fortunately, they were temporary. Now, as I hold my precious, wonderful son, I have no doubts. It doesn’t necessarily make the days any easier, and you’ll certainly have those moments when you think you must have been crazy to have another child, but you’ll love that baby with your entire heart and soul. Congratulations!

  • Smoochagator

    Love this article. Except for this line: “Not surprisingly, she failed in her attempt, confirming the concerns of the original hospital.”
    One of the issues you consistently raise about the NCB movement is that they tell women they or their bodies have “failed” if they do not have a vaginal birth. So let’s not make the mistake of using their rhetoric. This woman didn’t fail. She made (in your opinion, which I am inclined to agree with) a poor choice in attempting a VBAC, but when she ended up in the operating room, she was not a failure. If anything, as you point out, she was a pawn in a very political game, and had been deceived into thinking that her child’s life was less important that how that child actually entered this world.

    • Karen in SC

      good point

    • Carolina

      Agreed. There was no failure from my perspective (other than behaving like such a lunatic that CPS was threatened). She and her baby apparently survived intact. Good outcome.

    • anion

      Yes, but what wording would you suggest? “She did not succeed in her attempt/her attempt did not succeed,” are the same thing. “She was not able to have a vaginal birth?” Same thing. “The original hospital was correct and her baby required a c-section?” Maybe, but it still implies a failed attempt.

      Saying her attempt failed or she failed in her attempt isn’t the same as calling her a failure. What would YOU call an attempt at something that did not achieve its ultimate purpose? A win? A success? She tried to do something and did not ultimately do that thing, what are we supposed to say? “She succeeded in not doing the thing she wanted to do? Victory!”

      I get what you’re saying about calling women failures, I really do, but words mean what they mean, and I grow very tired of the idea that we have to pretend they don’t so people who want to live in approving little bubbles never have to face reality or people who lose contests don’t have to accept that they lost and everyone gets to take every word as a personal insult or affront. She tried, she failed. Doesn’t make her a bad person or a failure as a human, but her *attempt* failed, period.

      • Smoochagator

        I think that “she was unable to have a vaginal birth” is sufficient. Wording it in that way doesn’t assign “blame” on anyone for this woman’s C-section. I criticized Dr. Amy’s original wording – because the NCB culture often wants to assign blame for C-sections (often on the doctor for being afraid of litigation or eager to cut or too lazy to wait for a natural birth to unfold, or on the woman for being “uneducated” or not “trusting” birth) instead of seeing it as a no-fault option. This is something that Dr. Amy continually criticizes about the NCB movement, and eliminating the word “failure” from our discussion of birth has nothing to do with handing out participation trophies to kids who run the wrong way on the soccer field. It has to do with dismantling the stigma associated with having a child delivered surgically, especially when the surgical deliver may very well have saved the child’s and/or the mother’s life.

        • anion

          “She was unable to have a vaginal birth” could imply either A) everything was fine but the second hospital refused to let her/the decision wasn’t hers, thus assigning blame to the hospital; or B) that she lacked the *ability* to do it and had she trained harder/learned more/believed more she could have done it, thus assigning blame to her.

          It’s six of one, half dozen of the other. I agree with the idea that a surgical birth is not a failure, but the fact is she attempted VBAC and did not succeed in that. It doesn’t mean her birth was a failure or she is a failure, it means her attempt to VBAC failed, and we shouldn’t be so terrified of the word “fail.”

          (I really mean no disrespect to you here and you seem like a perfectly nice and smart person, I just hate these semantics games.)

          • Smoochagator

            No offense taken on this side and no disrespect towards you. The word just sent up a red flag for me since I’ve become more sensitive to the idea of “failure” when discussing an “unnatural” birth.

      • Sara

        Saying “she consented to a c-section after a trial of labor” would suffice (I believe that’s how she stated it herself). But I get what you’re saying. Her reason for finally consenting happened to be “failure to progress” so that kinda defines it right there.

    • The Bofa, Being of the Sofa

      Our bodies fail all the time.

      It’s just when our eyes fail to see properly on their own, no one attributes it to personal failure.

      • Siri

        I underwent gastroscopy and colonoscopy today, and was told I have a hiatus hernia, pyloric stenosis and reflux. The surgeon told me I need to visualise a healthy GI tract, surround myself with positive people who believe in my ability to heal, and use affirmations morning and night. He also said if I’d had the procedure done at home, my chances of a normal result would have been much higher. Sigh…. why have I let myself be brainwashed by allopathic medicine?!

  • http://www.antigonos.blogspot.com/ Antigonos CNM

    I’m still trying to understand why Goodall would not have a C/S at one hospital, but at another, she agreed to it.

    • Anna T

      I think she agreed to it after a failed labor, which she wasn’t allowed to try in the first hospital.

      Honestly, though, I think that if Mrs. Goodall wishes to avoid a 5-th C-section in the future, her only reasonable option is to avoid another pregnancy. If she still feels the desire to expand her family, maybe she should look into adoption. I mean it. So many children are in need of love and a home. A relative of mine is currently raising a family of 8 children, 3 of whom are adopted.

      • Certified Hamster Midwife

        Adoption is not cheap or easy, and it isn’t for everyone.

        • Anna T

          No, certainly not, especially international adoption. My relative’s adopted children came from the Ukraine and it was a complicated affair. However, I do believe that if someone wants very much to expand their family, but medical conditions do not allow it to be done naturally and/or safely (such as, you can only have C-sections and you’ve already had as many as your doctor says you can safely have), adoption or foster parenting is certainly an option to look into.

          Another option, of course, is to be content with the number of children one can *reasonably* have (without having endless C-sections or crazy dangerous VBA4Cs).

          I live in a society of large families and I fret and worry every time I hear of someone getting pregnant again after a 5-th C-section despite her doctor’s explicit warnings. I very much want to have a large family too, but risking one’s health and perhaps life is not an act of “faith”, it’s mad.

    • Carolina

      I think she really, really, really wanted the TOL. Nutty.

  • Mittstamp

    I wonder how long it will be before Ms Goodall gets pregnant again with baby 5, maybe this time attempting a HBA4C (I wonder if that’s been tried?) I’ve been there–After my CS I actually did think about getting PG again so I could have the “lovely. natural” home waterbirth I had wanted the first time. There might have been good reasons for us to have another child, but having a “healing” birth just wasn’t one of them. But you seem to hear a lot about this in the HB community. Where do these women stop in their goal to have a vaginal birth? Is each child whose birth ends in a CS considered a “failure?”

    • Kate

      The lady who runs No Longer Quivering, about the quiverfull movement, actually had a HBA4C. She has no idea if anyone else has (can’t find any other stories). And she now acknowledges how freaking insane it was.

      • MWGuest

        I personally know a midwife in my state (licensed CPM) who have attended HBA4C.
        There was a MANA board member – licensed CPM, too – who bragged on her blog about attending a HBA4C. Probably not as rare as you think it is.

      • Mittstamp

        OMG…on one hand that’s interesting, on the other hand terrifying. My DH has some QF’ers in his family (I follow NLQ but I missed that), but we rarely see or talk to them. Hard to believe, given their stance on abortion, that they believe God would want a family to take those kinds of incredible, million-to-one risks w/ the life of their baby. But the, from what I know of the QF movement, one of their mantras is “God controls the womb,” and if a baby dies, “it was God’s will.” With HB/NCB types, it’s more like “I control the performance art into which my baby will be born, along with mircomanaging every other detail b/c I really, really trust birth,” and in the event of loss, it’s either “Why me? I did everything RIGHT!” or “Some babies just aren’t meant to live.” Perhaps someone smarter than me–Dr. Amy?–could compare the rhetoric of these two groups.

      • MWGuest

        http://www.motherbloommidwifery.com/vbac-homebirth-after-4-csections/

        Here’s where a MANA board member brags about attending a VBaC after 4 c-sections at home.

        • Trixie

          Wow. “I was not worried about her ability to get her baby out or that her uterus would rupture. I know uterine rupture is extremely unlikely, even though there is very little research about vaginal birth after 2 or 3 c/sections, much less four. What I was worried about was what it would look like to my peer group, other midwives and birth professionals, both from Austin and around the US. What if something happened? What if??”

          Yes, who cares about two lives. What will the other midwives think?

          • MaineJen

            I had to stop reading when I got to that part. Yes lady, let’s just totally discount the very real risks, and instead let’s worry about how this will make YOU look. Disgusting…

        • Mittstamp

          I am so totally creeped out by this…I’m glad Mom & baby are ok but this all could have gone to hell in a handbasket in seconds. Just love the way the nurse blows off rupture as “rare” & leaves it at that.

        • araikwao

          Wait, who’s doing CS at home??! (yes, I know what it meant, and I’m just kidding, ‘k?)

      • Trixie
      • Trixie
      • Anna T

        I’ve read Vyckie’s story too, including how with her third child she was in a terrible state and should have seen a doctor (actually felt she was dying), but could not afford to and was too proud/didn’t think it was right to apply for government assistance. It was heartbreaking. I think she is lucky to be alive and hope no woman is pressured/brainwashed into accepting poor prenatal and L&D care.

    • Mom of 2

      About HBA4C–you bet it’s been tried. I had the joyous task of taking care of one when it failed (duh) and she came to the hospital (I’m a nurse). The woman had tried VB with every pregnancy. The most VBAC friendly doc I know told her after the 2nd or 3rd attempt a baby was never going to fit through her pelvis. She tried anyway. She is lucky her and her baby are alive, though the baby had to spend time in NICU for mec aspiration (she was almost 42 weeks). After the baby was born, the NICU talk came to speak with her about the rather grim situation the baby was in due to the mec. All she could talk about after was how happy she was that she got to labor at home all day.

      • Kate

        Wow. That is narcissism at its finest right there.

    • Trixie

      Sure, there are even people in the VBACfacts group and ICAN who put some variation of “HBA4C” in their Facebook usernames.

  • MaineJen

    We need to send some burn cream over to ICAN…apply directly to the BURN.

  • Bombshellrisa

    Ina May would have made her a square for the maternal mortality quilt.

    • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kq

      That made a literal chill run down my spine. Brrrr.

  • Anon

    I never comment on these things, but feel strongly compelled to do so here because you have it so wrong on so many levels. I can’t imagine that any one of us except Ms. Goodall herself can possibly give voice to all of the factors that went into weighing her decision. We cannot simply assume that she was not aware of all the risks and benefits of attempting to avoid cesarean surgery. Finally, what the people at ICAN and other organizations were supporting was not that she was choosing to decline repeat surgery. They were simply supporting her right to HAVE that choice.

    • attitude devant

      Reading comprehension fail. You are right that only Ms. Goodall knows what she was thinking. But ICAN and RHReality Check were ‘supporting’ her at the same time that they were referencing stats that were not relevant to HER specific case. That, in a nutshell, is the problem.

    • Stacy48918

      No. If all they believe in is autonomy and choice, why would they need statistics? They believe in VBAC itself – it’s safety, it’s inherent “rightness” over C-section, that’s why they feel a need to paint it as safe in all cases, no matter what. Their argument is not “choice” or “autonomy” but “VBAC is best, period.”

    • Amy

      I watched ICAN completely ream a rupture-loss mom for choosing scheduled cesareans for future births, accusing her of “scaring” the other list readers and stating women who mentioned any reason for a cesarean other than transverse lie and complete previa were simply not welcome. That was the last straw for me. Before that, though, I watched the ICAN list celebrate a woman’s success in achieving “her” VBAC when her baby was born dead from cord issues. I watched them go on and on about “evidence” without citing any independent peer-reviewed studies. I watched them encourage women who couldn’t find a sympathetic provider to go for an unassisted birth.

      So don’t tell me ICAN supports choice. They don’t. They support THEIR choice of VBAC at all costs. A cesarean to ICAN is a fate worse than death.

    • Melissa

      She did have the choice. The choice of going to a hospital that allowed her to have a VBAC. What Goodall wanted was to force a hospital of her choice to allow her to attempt VBA3C. A hospital is not Burger King, you do not get to have it your way if that way violates the ethical standards of the doctors you are involving in your care. As long as we hold doctors to medical ethics standards and litigation liability we can’t expect them to just do whatever the patient wants if that desire violates their ethical duties.

  • Therese

    It’s true that they wouldn’t do anything if her baby had died. But if she had died and her baby had lived, I’m sure they would have helped organize breast milk donations to ensure that her baby didn’t have to drink any formula, so you can’t say they don’t care!

    • attitude devant

      RIP, Sara Hedgepeth Osceola

      • rh1985

        Somehow I never heard of her before. Horrifying!

    • Amazed

      At least she had a lovely vaginal birth, they would say. At least she achieved her dream birth!

      Think I’m kidding? Google Claire Teague and her lovely midwife.

  • attitude devant

    These groups remind me of the AIDS denialists who egged on Christine Maggiore. Exactly how many of them stepped up to the plate and accepted responsibility when her daughter died of AIDS? Or when Christine herself died?

    • Roadstergal

      They immediately got to work denying that either of them died of AIDS.

      • Dr Kitty

        Kind of like that commenter we had a good while back who said that ‘flu vaccination was unnecessary, because people died from *pneumonia* not *flu*, and who didn’t seem to grasp that they wouldn’t have got the pneumonia without the influenza.

        AIDS denialists say that people die of pneumonia, or lymphoma or TB… and that they *just happened* to test positive for HIV…a virus which doesn’t lead to any health problems itself…nope.

        • Young CC Prof

          I’ve heard that argument from antivaxxers a lot. “They didn’t die from the disease, they died from complications of the disease, so you see, the disease isn’t dangerous.”

          It’s not the fall that kills you, it’s the sudden impact with the ground.

        • Beth S

          Oh God as someone who’s lost their own father to the flu because he was contraindicated for the vaccine (double lung transplant patient) and his sister decided to come to his mother’s house sick with the flu when she knew he’d be there, I’m so glad I wasn’t around for this idiotic poster. Sure it might be the pneumonia that kills the flu patient, but if it weren’t for the fact that he’d caught the flu in the first place he wouldn’t be dead.
          Of course I told this story on one of my birth boards and got reamed for and I quote “Putting my aunt on blast like that.” At which time I went on a cursing rampage that got me banned for life.

  • Anna T

    “Who is likely to be more concerned with whether you and/or your baby live or die?”

    The mother herself is the most concerned. She is the one who will have to live with the results of whatever choice she makes. Nothing – not time, not circumstances, not having more children – can bring full healing after the loss of a child. Throw guilt into the equation – how a mother must feel when she had been WARNED against something, and proceeded at her own risk, and then the thing she had been warned about actually happens and she loses her baby – and I can hardly imagine how horrible it must be.

    Therefore, when human life is at stake, there is really no such thing as “excessive caution”.

    • Smoochagator

      The mother is most concerned, but in the case discussed in this article, the mother was not truly aware of the risks to her baby. Those risks had likely been downplayed and/or outright denied by the people that wanted her to have a VBAC.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Not a single organization or article that supported Goodall had accurate statistics on the real risk that Goodall faced.

    I disagree slightly. You supported Goodall’s right to make her own medical decisions, even if they were bad decisions and also provided a realistic assessment of the risk that she faced. Other than that…yeah, pretty much.

  • sdsures

    I find it extremely odd that an organization, ANY organization, would start a petition in order to “help” someone get a dangerous procedure that didn’t need to happen. Goodall didn’t NEED to go through the risk of a VBAC when CS is available.

  • Junebug

    Oh they would have done something, blame her for failing. If you rupture in your vba3c it is because you didn’t trust birth, had the baby in a scary hospital hat harshed your mellow, didn’t eat enough during labor blah blah blah.

    • Lisa from NY

      Don’t forget the Chinese herbs.

    • Smoochagator

      Not enough raspberry leaf tea to tone the uterus!

  • Mel

    Actually, ICAN et al would go one step beyond dropping Ms. Goodall if her child died: they’d victim-blame her.

    She should have been:
    -eating more kale….eating less kale…. wait,……eating the correct amount of kale (which she clearly was not doing)
    -avoiding prenatal care
    -never even speaking to an OB
    -birthing at home
    -trusting birth more
    -chanting positive mantras

    The real point of ICAN et al isn’t to support mothers; it’s to protect the true believers from the real-life outcomes. When babies and moms are hurt or die, remember the goal is to deflect the blame back where it belongs – on the obvious losers who clearly weren’t as (awesome, Goddess-loving, healthy, crunchy) as the rest of the group.

    Cognitive dissonance hurts.