Hospitals ban elective inductions before 39 weeks

Oregon papers are reporting that all-Portland area hospitals are prohibiting elective inductions and c-sections prior to 39 weeks gestation.

“[R]esearch has shown that there is significant brain development going on right through 38 weeks. Babies born before 39 weeks of pregnancy are two to three times more likely to be admitted to intensive care as well as have trouble breathing, according to recent studies.”

A hospital in Vancouver, Wash., studied the problem on its own earlier this year and found that 42 percent of its babies born electively did not meet the criteria for medical exceptions and instituted its own “hard stop” on induced births before 39 weeks without medical need.

Opponents of the Unborn Child Pain Protection Act passed in various states this year often argued that legislators should not pass the Act since it would interfere with elective inductions scheduled at 36 weeks or later. Prolife arguments that such practices were medically suspect are vindicated by the actions of the Portland hospitals.

Brent Rooney, Research Director, Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition, in Vancouver, Canada, follows the connection between abortion and preterm delivery in subsequent pregnancies. He has identified over 60 studies evidencing the connection. In Induced Abortion and the Risk of Later Premature Births, he and Dr. Byron Calhoun argued that failure to inform abortion patients of the connection of abortion and preterm births should create liability for failure to adequately inform patients of risks.

Teresa Collett

Teresa Stanton Collett is a professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she teaches bioethics, property law, and constitutional law. A nationally prominent speaker and scholar, she is active in attempts to rebuild the Culture of Life and protect the institutions of marriage and family. She often represents groups of state legislators, the Catholic Medical Association, and the Christian Medical and Dental Association in appellate case related to medical-legal matters. She represented the governors of Minnesota and North Dakota before the U.S. Supreme Court as amici curiae regarding the effectiveness of those states’ parental involvement laws. She has served as special attorney general for Oklahoma and Kansas related to legislation designed to protect the well-being of minors and unborn children. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has testified before committees of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittees on the Constitution, as well as numerous legislative committees in the states.