The Business of Birth
Malpractice and Maternity Care in the United States
Published by: NYU Press
336 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 47 b/w illustrations
- ISBN: 9781479877089
- Published: February 2021
How the fear of malpractice affects mothers and reproductive choices
Giving birth is a monumental event, not only in the personal life of the woman giving birth, but as a medical process and procedure. In The Business of Birth, Louise Marie Roth explores the process of giving birth, and the ways in which medicine and law interact to shape maternity care.
Focusing on the United States, Roth explores how the law creates an environment where medical providers, malpractice attorneys, and others limit women’s rights and choices during birth. She shows how a fear of liability risk often drives the decision-making process of medical providers, who prioritize hospital efficiency over patient safety, to the detriment of mothers themselves.
Ultimately, Roth advocates for an approach that protects the reproductive rights of mothers. A comprehensive overview, The Business of Birth provides valuable insight into the impact of the law on mothers, medical providers, maternity care practices, and others in the United States.
If you want to understand the seemingly incomprehensible mess that is American maternity care –among the most expensive and least safe in the world – read this book. Louise Roth unpacks the legal, medical, technological and social forces that bring us to this intolerable situation. And she helps us, all those who care about birth and life, to understand how we can fix it. ~Barbara Katz Rothman, author of Bun in the Oven: How the Food and Birth Movements Resist Industrialization
With multiple kinds of data, detailed analysis, and empathy for patients and providers alike, Louise Roth reveals how birth experiences are powerfully and invisibly structured by legal and institutional forces, rather than by individual choice. By situating pregnancy and birth management within broader legal, medical, and cultural systems, The Business of Birth offers concrete solutions that hold the promise of making reproductive justice a reality for everyone. ~Jennifer Reich, author of Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccines
In The Business of Birth, Louise Marie Roth confirms the unpleasant truth that a pregnant woman’s race, class, and education affect the quality of maternity care she receives, contributing to the appalling racial and class disparities in infant and maternal mortality in the United States today. This is a book that everyone concerned with women’s health will want to read. ~Linda C. Fentiman, author of Blaming Mothers: American Law and the Risks to Children’s Health