On 2/13 the surgical birth study bill sponsored by MFSB was heard in the Maryland House Health & Government Operations committee. Delegate Young introduced the bill, and discussed the high cesarean rate and low VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) rate in Maryland and why we need to address this issue. Kirra Brandon and Jessica Watkins testified for Maryland Families for Safe Birth, along with our lobbyist Caitlin McDonough. A representative from CareFirst also testified in support of the bill, as did the Patient Safety Center. MedChi/ACOG and ACNM opposed the original bill, on the grounds that the state is already making efforts towards lowering the cesarean rate.
All of the parties that testified were supportive of the solution we came to, which is that the Patient Safety Center will expand their current initiative to reduce first time cesareans, to include efforts to reduce repeat cesareans, and to include consumer representatives in this new initiative. We are really excited to be moving forward in this way and hope to come up with some meaningful policy suggestions to increase access to VBAC in Maryland.
You can watch the video of the hearing here (we are the third bill, beginning at about 31:00 into the recording):http://mgahouse.maryland.gov/…/ab0ada6d-3f18-455f-8988-27…/…
Thanks to all who called and wrote and shared your stories of why this topic is so important to Maryland families and why it should be important to our legislative representatives to address the issue. Please stay tuned for the next steps in the process!