Caesarean Births

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The CDC reported yesterday that the rate of Cesarean births reached 32% in 2007, the country s highest rate ever. The New York Times reports, When needed, a Caesarean can save the mother and her child from injury or death, but most experts doubt that one in three women need surgery to give birth.

One reason c-sections births are so high is the fear of litigation, says ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross. Obstetricians get sued frequently and often frivolously for bad outcomes like birth defects, which are unrelated to obstetric care. They can reduce not only the risks of complications during birth, but also the risk of being sued for an unrelated problem by doing a c-section. Of course it s a major surgery and can be dangerous for the mother.