ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Bringing new life into the world can come with complications, and cesarean section rates are on the rise across the globe. New York state has the 12th highest c-section rate in the country at 33.6%.
There are countless contributing factors to an uptick in C-section rates worldwide. Cleveland Clinic pointed to more women having children older and a rise in obesity. C-sections can be necessary for a safer birth plan. However, some are concerned that healthcare providers opt for major surgery to get paid more. A medically unnecessary C-section can be dangerous to the patient and the baby.
On April 26, a group of state lawmakers spoke out at the New York Capitol to bring attention to New York’s high rate of c-sections and bolster support for a package of bills that aim to improve maternal outcomes and reduce maternal morbidity.
“In New York, why is it the case that in some hospitals there [is] a 50% c-section rate? Why in some hospitals is there a 10% c-section rate?” Assemblymember Amy Paulin said. “What is happening? It is not about the women.”
Assemblymember Paulin also pointed out that the risk of health issues—scar tissue buildup, heavy bleeding, and placental problems—increases with each subsequent C-section. State Sen. Julia Salazar sponsored the “Informed C-section Bill” (A217/S2736) that proposes a requirement for maternal health providers to give patients written education on the possible risks of a cesarian section.
Advocates also joined Assemblymember Paulin and Senator Salazar at the Million Dollar Staircase to support four other bills. During the upcoming session, they hope to pass the following maternal health bills in the NYS Legislature: A9098a/S8751, A9714a, A8392/S3010, and A8536/S7628.
The bills hope to require everything from establishing a cesarean birth review board to providing insurance premium reductions to physicians and licensed midwives who complete a risk management strategies course in obstetrics.