I have no doubt that in some way the care I received during my last pregnancy, labour, and delivery was the result of generally held belief about the superiority of 'the natural birth process' - and an utter disregard for the consequences of failing to respect patient autonomy and provide access to the caesarean procedure in a timely way. I think in some way, someone thought it was 'ok' because what I had asked for wasn't based on the generally approved medical indications for a caesarean. That because 'it was my choice' it was okay to impose their beliefs about childbirth on me - delay and deny. The chances are overwhelming that she will be fine and her baby will be fine, so what she 'wants' doesn't really matter.
Examining the guidelines produced by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, and the material produced by the Ministry of Health, it is clear that there is a strong preference for vaginal childbirth. I know that "the state" doesn't approve of my choice in childbirth - I knew that when I was pregnant with my daughter - I also know that many members of the public do not support maternal request Caesarean. However, I also believed then and believe now that the state must respect choice in childbirth and that forcing a particular mode of childbirth on a woman would be / is reprehensible because it violates a woman's right to determine what happens to her body and to make health care decisions for herself and her baby. It's misogynistic and misguided.
The thing is that what mothers want does matter, and respecting maternal choice cannot be a one way street. The system cannot bend over backwards to accommodate natural childbirth, but completely ignore those who would choose to medicalize their births. The system cannot assume that those choosing natural childbirth are doing so as an informed choice, if indeed no choice is actually available. Nor can the system assume that those who would choose to medicalize their births are doing so from an uninformed position - and that their choice should be ignored. To do so is to perpetuate a paternalistic provision of healthcare in obstetrics when it has been long abandoned in most other fields of medicine. To do so, says that it's okay to violate a patient's autonomy, if that patient happens to be a woman who is seeking maternity care.
That is what is wrong and needs to change. It's not about csections. It's not about vaginal births. It's not about epidurals. It's about enabling women to get the best information about their choices, and actually supporting whatever choice a woman makes having been provided that information. It's her body and her child at stake - who else could have a better perspective on what their best interests actually are? When the state and care providers fail to provide for women during childbirth - it is an affront to quality care and often is an unjust enrichment at the expense of mothers and their babies.