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In The News:
~ Philadelphia Inquirer Examines Increase in Percentage of Births by C-Section in United States

Kaisernetwork.org Daily Reproductive Health Report ~ March 22, 2005

The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday examined the increase in the percentage of U.S. women who deliver by caesarean section, including women who choose to give birth by c-section. According to federal data, c-section deliveries accounted for 28% of all U.S. deliveries in 2003, compared with 21% in 1989, the Inquirer reports. In addition, among women who already have had a c-section, 11% opted for a vaginal birth after c-section in 2003, compared with 28% in 1996. The trend can be explained in part by a "social shift" occurring among U.S. women, most of whom no longer desire a "drug-free, low-tech, all-natural" childbirth and instead feel that "pushing a baby into the world" is an experience they would "just as soon skip," the Inquirer reports. In addition, Dr. Benson Harer, former president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and ACOG executive vice president Dr. Ralph Hale in an editorial in the current ACOG newsletter advocate c-sections for first-time deliveries, saying that the surgical procedure often preserves the health of both the infant and the mother. However, other health professionals see the trend toward more frequent c-section deliveries as "disturbing," according to the Inquirer (McCullough, Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/20).

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