A Constituent Writes: Please vote NO to SB1157

The following letter dated February 16, 2014 was written by Mrs. Brynley Mosley, B.S., R.N., from Lake Havasu City, Arizona.  She sent hard copies of the letter to all Arizona senators.  She also posted it on the internet.   Ms. Mosley attended the Feb. 12, 2014 Health and Human Services Committee hearing where she spoke out against this bill (SB1157).  She noted that there were 167 others who were Against the bill, 30 For, and 2 Neutral.  Using Arizona Voices (azvoices.gov) 113 Strongly Opposed and 2 Opposed.

In spite of strong opposition, the bill passed 4-3-0 as follows:

For:  Republicans Kelli Ward (Sponsor), Nancy Barto, Judy Burges, Kimberly Yee
Against:  Democrats Ed Ableser, David Bradley, Katie Hobbs  

Click HERE for a video of the meeting.    

Dear Senator:

Last week, I drove three hours from Senator Kelli Ward’s district in Lake Havasu to Phoenix to let my representatives know how this bill affects my freedom and my family.  Not only does SB 1157 eviscerate a right we hold most dearly – the right of parents to make decisions, including healthcare decisions, about our own families – it also risks my health and my future babies.  I urge you to read what I have to say before you vote on a bill that goes against every principle I stand for as a pro-life Republican and mother.

I’m a practicing Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s degree in Science.  I had my first baby in a hospital with an excellent certified midwife, and then twins after that, who were delivered by C-section after a doctor used an invasive procedure to speed up their birth before they were ready, creating a medical emergency.  I had my next baby normally, at home in Nevada with a midwife, without surgery or any complications. 

When we moved to Arizona, I expected to have my fifth in a hospital – until I found out how Arizona laws and hospital policies force women like me to have surgery, whether we need it or not.

You see, as of 2009, in almost half of all Arizona maternity wards women are not allowed to give birth vaginally if they have had a C-section.  (See VBAC Policies in US Hospitals)  These liability-based policies are in conflict with current medical evidence and guidelines of major health organizations like the National Institutes of Health (See Vaginal Birth After Cesarean:  New Insights) and the OBs’ own membership organization, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.  (See Vaginal Birth after Previous Cesarean Delivery)

For many Arizona women, having a baby at a hospital means mandatory surgery, and with each operation, it becomes more dangerous to carry more babies.  Multiple C-sections put women at greater risk for many serious health consequences, including emergency hysterectomy and death, and their future babies at greater risk of death from being housed in a uterus with multiple scars.  (See Maternal Morbidity Associated with Multiple Repeat Cesarean Deliveries and Placenta Accreta - A Risk of Cesarean Section).  

What option does this leave women like me, planning on large families, if we can’t have informed consent to give birth the way we want to at our own local hospitals?  To avoid mandatory surgery, for my fifth baby we had to travel three hours one way to a Phoenix hospital to wait out the last two weeks of my pregnancy.

My point in all this is that the state cannot make these decisions for families, to determine where it is “safest” for them to give birth. Only women and their families can weigh their own circumstances and the options available to them. This is a fundamental right of American families.  Where we give birth and how we give birth is a basic right.

Furthermore, I am very upset that my own legislator is attempting to call this a pro-life issue.  I am shocked that she would characterize her own pro-life constituents in this way, and imply that she or the state cares more about my babies’ lives than I do.  What is Senator Ward’s real agenda?

Late Term Abortionist Dr. Maria Manriquez 

In fact, one of the obstetricians Senator Ward continually partners with in support of this bill is a vocal proponent of late-term abortion. Some of the words Dr. Maria Manriquez uses to defend the practice of late-term abortion are exactly what she does NOT believe about this issue: “We are deeply troubled by lawmakers’ attempt to legislate the practice of medicine against the standard of care set by the American Congress of Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG), our national organization. . . . With these bills, there is little indication that our legislators have weighed the measures’ far-reaching effects. In pursuing a social agenda, they have neglected to account for the health of Arizona’s women."  (See Abortion Bills out of Line with Accepted Standards of Prenatal Care.)

Please understand, a bill like this gives me and other Arizona women only two legal options in this state: forced C-sections at the local hospital, or unattended birth at home.  Is the state of Arizona ready to put women in this position?  Forcing them into surgery, risking their health, and limiting the size of their families – or leaving them to give birth at home alone?

If you must make legislation about birth, please, do something that makes it safer instead of more dangerous: require Arizona hospitals to repeal their mandatory surgery policies and let women decide whether they want to use their own bodies to give birth!  I realize these hospitals will make a lot less money this way, but the safety of women and babies is my bottom line.

Ultimately, parents have the right to make these important family decisions, and Senator Ward does not represent us or many of her constituents on this issue.  I am joined by over 2,000 others who have signed our petition against this ill-conceived bill.  (See Petition: Support a Woman's Right to Choose Home Birth and Say NO to SB1157).  

Please, vote no on SB 1157 and protect the health and freedom of families like mine.

Sincerely,

Brynley Mosley, B.S., R.N.
Lake Havasu City, AZ