Attorneys looking for VBAC ban victims

This was emailed out on the ICAN list:


Dear Friends,

As you are likely aware, many women are denied access to VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) because of hospital policies and outright bans. Attorneys with the Northwest Women’s Law Center in Seattle are looking at this issue.

It requires that the woman is planning a hospital birth, in a hospital that bans VBAC, because she has no other options (not feeling comfortable with a homebirth is an acceptable reason to not have a homebirth for this purpose, so it doesn’t have to be in an area where there are also no midwives available). The reason for not having options can be geographic (no close hospitals to go to) or something like restrictions placed on her because of insurance or lack of insurance. But she definitely has to be planning a hospital birth.


I’m a lawyer with the Northwest Women’s Law Center in Seattle. I’m investigating possible legal responses to bans on vaginal birth after cesarean at hospitals in the northwest states Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon. If you are currently pregnant and want to have a VBAC, but are facing a hospital policy that would require you to have a c-section regardless of whether you want it and regardless of whether it is actually medically necessary, and you are willing to consider working with a lawyer on this, we’d like to talk with you. Please respond to
vbacbanhelp at ican-online dot org.

Even if you are not in one of the states listed, you can still help by emailing this out to any email lists you are on and asking everyone who receives it to email it to all the lists THEY are on as well so that it is distributed far and wide. Thanks.

Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”

9 thoughts on “Attorneys looking for VBAC ban victims

  1. Amy Stills

    Bravo! I hope you can get this going. I am currently fighting for a VBAC and it feels hopeless. No one will do it. My doctor even said he is pro-VBAC and he feels that !) I am a good candidate and B) VBAC’s are often safer than a repeat un-necessary operation but he can not perform it because of hospital policy.

    I had 2 very successful vaginal births and one c-section that turned out to be completely unnecessary (they had misjudged her weight during an ultrasound and were expecting a 13lb baby…turns out she was 9lbs). I had every complication and side effect possible with the c-section it was awful. I’d rather have this baby at home alone that go through that again.

  2. Kylee Stef

    I live in Boise, Idaho and one of the two major hospitals here won’t allow me to VBAC since I do not meet their “checklis” of requirements. I had a classical incision done, against my will, at the premature birth of our son. Now those doctors are telling me they’d schedule me for a c-section at 35 weeks. I have three children, all born with an hour or two of labor and all vaginally. I will NEVER have another c-section, it was horrific. The rate of rupture with a classical is 4%- hardly high enough for me to voluntarily get cut open.I have found doctors around the country who are doing vbacs after all kinds of incisions, but certainly not in Idaho. I don’t want to have to give birth on the street, how can the hospital tell me it’s “their way or the highway?” Apparenlty it’s also illegal in Idaho for midwives to help me? I can only see nurse midwives. How can laws deny us care? Please help!


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