I have sent you this request because of your connections within the Birth Community. I hope that you will see if there is any way you can assist ICAN with this request.
We have made this request before but now the stakes are really high. Peggy Robertson is a woman from CO who testified yesterday before the HELP committee (the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee) about being denied coverage because of a previous cesarean, unless she could prove she had been sterilized. (We managed to work in a couple of comments about VBAC bans too! Which got some response from a couple of Senators!) Senator Mikulski, who chaired that hearing, has asked for more stories similar to Peggy Robertson’s. Please distribute this request as widely as you can -
ICAN needs stories about discriminatory insurance practices based on a previous cesarean. This can include but is not limited to demands for sterilization, restrictions on how soon you can have another pregnancy and be covered, higher premiums, restrictions on the total amount of benefits they will pay, excessively high deductibles for maternity care. Even if all you have is your name, state, contact information (email is fine) and a description of the circumstances (with the name of the relevant insurance company(ies) if possible) we can use it. If you have written documentation, that would be pure gold.
There is interest about this at the highest levels of the Federal Govt. and we will use this to open the discussion on other areas of discrimination (like VBAC bans, lack of transparency, etc)....so please, take a moment and get the information to ICAN. You can email me at advocacy@ican- online.org or you can snail mail to ICAN of Ann Arbor, PO Box 48, Stockbridge, MI 49285.
Your story could make a difference that would improve the care available for millions of women and their babies.
Advocacy Director, ICAN