Sarah and her doctor just agreed to do a scheduled cesarean a week before her due date. The thing that might stand out is that Sarah has no medical condition that would make a cesarean necessary. It is simply her personal preference. And so the war begins...
The question about whether or not women should be allowed to make the decision to have a cesarean section without a medical reason is a large debate in both the medical and consumer communities. With advocates in both sectors, there is still no clear answer to this question.
Proponents say that, as with any other reproductive health choice, this is a woman's body and her birth and baby, she should be allowed to decide when and how that baby is born. This includes an elective surgical procedure, even in the absence of a medical problem.
Some argue that it's better for a woman physically, either in terms of genital health or otherwise. Others claim that it is a good option for those who have suffered sexual abuse, making it a less traumatic situation for the woman to deal with. The main defense is simply that it is a woman's decision to chose what type of birth she desires for whatever reason.
The flip side of the argument says that the surgery, while life saving for those who need it, is actually more physically harmful for women and their babies. That decisions like this should not be made in absence of medical necessity and particularly not the correct information about the benefits versus risks of the cesarean surgery.