ACTION ALERT: respond to New York Times re C-SEC Article by Today 12/15 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 2 Old 12-15-2003, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I got this e-mail from my friend, who says she got it from an e-mail news alert from the Citizens for Midwifery Grassroots newsletter. I'm also going to post this on the Activism board. I don't want to miss any birthy mamas here.

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Grassroots Network Message 312039
ACTION ALERT: respond to J. Brody in NY Times

Dear Friends,

The New York Times needs to hear from as many people as possible by the end of TODAY Monday December 15!

On Tuesday, December 9, 2003, New York Times's Health columnist Jane E. Brody (author of several books on nutrition and health) published a column entitiled "With Childbirth, Now It's What the Mother Orders" that was a blatant advertisement for elective cesarean. If you have a logon (you can register for free) with the Times, you can read the column at

In a truly absurd move, Ms. Brody blames nearly half of the current cesarean rate on planned cesareans. She also recycles former ACOG President Benson Harer's arguments in favor of "women's choices" (citing the "passing of paternalism in obstetrics" ) - including convenience, fear for baby's safety, pelvic floor concerns, and easier scheduling for the doctor. Later in the article she addresses risks and makes a poor attempt at balance, but she concludes by stating - "Any woman considering an elective Caesarean should discuss the benefits and risks fully with her physician early in the pregnancy. If the doctor opposes her choice, referral to another physician may be the wisest course."

Below are guidelines for letters to the Times editors, letters to the Public Editor, and op-ed columns. PLEASE NOTE: "Letters for publication should be no longer than 150 words, must refer to an article that has appeared within the last seven days." That means by the end of Monday December 15!

The Times needs to hear from us. Some ideas to include might be:

*** Questioning the existance of this "trend" for which there is so little evidence.
*** Noting the abundance of research showing the dangers of cesarean birth (for more resources on this topic, see The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services' Fact Sheet "The Risks of Cesarean Delivery to Mother and Baby" (a referenced list at ) and The American College of Nurse-Midwives' Cesarean Section Bibliography ("The following list of articles represents a portion of the literature that raises serious questions about any attempt to downplay the risks or overstate the benefits of cesarean section."
*** Questioning Dr. Harer's concern for women's choices only in so far as they benefit obstetricians.
*** Noting the roles that interventions like induction, epidurals, and electronic fetal monitoring play in rising cesarean rates.
*** Pointing out the pain and difficult recovery associated with cesarean birth.
*** Other insights and concerns

Suggestion: Pick ONE idea or message; 150 words is a very short letter! If you want to write something longer, look at the OP Ed guidelines below. The Times is the newspaper of record in the US and a megaphone, and Ms. Brody is really well-known. We cannot allow this to go without a response. If you don't have time to write a letter to the editor, consider leaving a phone message for the Public Editor.

We'd love to see your letters - forward a copy to

Susan Hodges, "gatekeeper"

================================================== ===============
NY Times Letters to the Editor
Letters for publication should be no longer than 150 words, must refer to an article that has appeared within the last seven days, and must include the writer's address and phone numbers. No attachments, please.

Send a letter to the editor by e-mailing
<> or faxing (212)556-3622. You may also send your letter to:

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

NY Times Public Editor
Daniel Okrent serves as the readers' representative, may be reached by e-mail at <> or by leaving a message at 212-556-7652.

NY Times Op-Ed
The New York Times accepts opinion articles on any topic. The suggested length is 650 words, but submissions of any length will be considered. Articles may be sent in any of these ways:
By e-mail to: <> or by fax to:
(212) 556-4100, or by mail to:
The Op-Ed Page
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

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#2 of 2 Old 12-16-2003, 03:33 AM
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Thanks for letting us know about this, Tanya!
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