Women in Las Vegas and in 99 other cities across the country will gather simultaneously on Labor Day in an effort to bring attention to a national rate of cesarean sections that is more than double the rate promoted by the World Health Organization.
The Monday rally in Las Vegas will take place from 10 a.m. to noon outside the Pinkpeas Pregnancy and Parenting Care Center, 3920 W. Charleston Blvd., Suite J.
Officials with Improvingbirth.org, a California-based organization that promotes evidence-based maternity care, are sponsoring the rally and expect thousands of women and their spouses and children to be on hand across the country to make people aware that unnecessary C-sections are placing mothers and their children at risk.
Local organizer Jessica Sullivan said that nationally about one in three deliveries of children today is done through C-section or major abdominal surgery.
The number in Nevada is slightly higher at 36 percent.
The state’s C-section rate rose
72 percent from 1996 to 2007, the sixth-highest increase of any state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A growing number of women suspect doctors are performing the surgery as a matter of convenience and for profit rather than medical necessity.
While a necessary C-section can save a mother and her child from injury or death, public health officials stress it is highly doubtful that a third of U.S. women need to have babies cut from their bellies.
Dr. Jerry Reeves, vice president of medical affairs for Health Insight, which is dedicated to improving the quality of health care, said Thursday that “it is about time that women focus on this issue. … There are way too many C-sections done.”
Sullivan said those participating in the rally are there “to educate, not protest.”
The ideal rate of C-sections is not known.
But the World Health Organization and U.S. health agencies suggest a number between 10 percent and
15 percent largely because C-sections pose a risk of surgical complications and are more likely than vaginal births to result in problems that put the infant in intensive care and the mother back in the hospital.
Contact reporter Paul Harasim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2908.