Joy Szabo Travels 350 Miles for Vaginal Birth


  1. Despite having absolutely no relation to my life, this issue really makes me angry. Once again, people with absolutely no clue are making serious medical decisions for women’s own good. Because? Obviously, we are all about doing dangerous things like having babies through the part of our bodies designed for that purpose.

    It’s all about the money.

  2. Crazy I say! I was totally shocked when I read this article. And, I hope it got as much press in AZ as it has around the country. I know that I as a patient am inclined to trust my doctors recommendation, and I have definitely over heard many women say they’ve done the 2nd c-section for safety. I bet the hospital never intended to get a court order, but that they just expect moms to capitulate at that point. Further proof that this is definitely an issue that cannot get enough press, women need to know that a second or third opinion is well worth their time and their health! And so, thanks for writing about it!

  3. Great post! I found your blog via Best Green Home Tips and am soooo glad I did! I’m an advocate of natural birthing, attachment parenting and conscious conception — hence the name Consciously Birthing.
    I lived in AZ for a bit and was introduced to my first taste of doulas and have been hooked ever since!
    Joy’s story is incredibly inspiring because really how many women do you know with the guts to say “Screw you hospital”??
    I commend you mothers for taking the beauty of childbirth into your own hands!

    Jessica Eleven

  4. This is SUCH a frustrating issue. I had to really fight for my VBAC, although not with the hospital directly.

    I have to confess, though, I do not understand how a hospital could *force* anyone to have surgery. Isn’t it illegal to perform surgery on someone in a non-life-threatening situation without their consent? Couldn’t she have just waited until she went into labor, showed up at the ER (where EMTALA would require that she be admitted) and refused surgery? Not a perfect solution, but it seems like it would work.

    In any case, I appreciate that the point was raised that financial privilege is an issue here. I am due in July with my third baby, and while there are several excellent midwives in our area who happily attend homebirth VBACs (my ideal), my insurance will only cover a portion of the expenses, and we do not have the money to pay the out of pocket portion of the costs. I have found a midwife practice that takes my insurance, but they only attend at hospital. Still, at least I have access to midwife care; many women, particularly low-income women, do not. It’s such a shame.

  5. Thank you so much for the compliment of quoting me! I’m glad that you understood that my point was not at all to be-little Joy–she worked SO hard–but to shine light on the down sides of the Page VBAC ban.

  6. @SKM, I’m wondering the same thing. If I was in Szabo’s situation (and didn’t want a homebirth), I probably would just labor at home as long as possible.

    If a woman showed up in advanced labor and just said no to the c-section, what recourse would the hospital have? Kick her out on the curb? Restrain and drug her?

    During my labor (first and only so far), I transfered from home having planned a homebirth due to my exhaustion, back labor and stalled dialation. The OB on call recommended a c-section right off the bat (of course). But, baby and I were both fine, I just needed some pain relief and rest. I said no to a c-section probably 6 times throughout the day since baby’s heartrate was okay. Now, I did finally consent after pushing for 3 hrs, and it turned out my daughter had her foot up by her head that was putting her in a funky position. But, I did exercise my right to say no to surgery several times.

  7. Wow what a story. And a great post! VBACs are very near and dear to my heart. I attempted a VBAC (unsuccessful) with my second son and would have been furious if I was told by my hospital that it was against hospital policy. I already think that the measures they force us to take in the hospital lead to more unsuccessful VBACs than increased safety of mama and baby, but to take away the choice of women, to force them to have a major and potentially unnecessary surgery is infuriating and disheartening. I love the work the ICAN does and any way we can educate the public about this issue the better we will all be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.