November 22, 2013 –
Birth centers across South Carolina are working to overturn the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (SC DHEC) recent interpretation of regulatory policy. This policy has women in South Carolina at risk of losing their right to choose where and with whom they want to safely, naturally give birth.
Birth Centers uphold the rights of healthy women and their families, in all communities, to birth their children in an environment which is safe, sensitive and cost effective with minimal intervention.
The SC DHEC recent reinterpretation requires a physician to respond onsite at the birth center if a patient experiences complications. The American College of Nurse-Midwives Director, Jesse Bushman writes, “an overly stringent interpretation that this regulation requires a physician to be physically present at a birth center in emergencies would hinder rather than promote appropriate transfer of care by mandating unnecessary delays.”
Partnered physicians agree that requiring their presence at the birth center merely delays the necessary hospital transfer.
The American Association of Birth Center member birth centers in South Carolina and our legal counsel have appealed to SC DHEC to stay their decision. We want DHEC to comply with the regulations that require a proper investigation including peer group review. We are asking for sufficient time to adopt national accreditation standards. Immediate enforcement and risk of closure, leaves our patients uncertain and emotionally distressed, and all women without access to birthing centers.
We are asking South Carolina families to reach out to their legislators to protest this new regulatory mandate. You can find contact information for your legislators at the links below. Please visit www.savecbp.com for details how to help.