Natural birth centers no longer in danger of closing

Regulators, business owners ‘have agreed to work collaboratively’

Posted by Paul Bowers on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Mothers and children staged a protest against DHEC's potential shutdown of birthing centers on Monday. By Wednesday, the shutdown had been averted. - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Mothers and children staged a protest against DHEC's potential shutdown of birthing centers on Monday. By Wednesday, the shutdown had been averted.

According to a press release from Charleston Birth Place, natural birthing centers around the state are no longer in immediate danger of being shut down by state regulators. All currently licensed birthing centers will remain open, according to the release.

The S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control sent letters to birth centers around the state on Saturday stating that they had 15 days to submit a plan for compliance with state law. Now DHEC is saying that the birth centers are not in danger of being shut down — and never were.

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"It is not within our control to put the law on hold," says DHEC spokesperson Lindsey Evans. "As has always been the fact, DHEC has not threatened to shut the birthing centers down, but has given them a deadline to evidence compliance. If they are out of compliance, they have 6 months to get into compliance or ask the General Assembly to change the law."

Charleston Birth Place spokesperson Hunter Kerrison says the danger of a shutdown was real. "There was a danger. There was documentation provided, and yet we were told we weren't compliant. The clarification of what that meant changed based on how many media people asked a question [of DHEC]," Kerrison says.

The release from Charleston Birth Place says DHEC and the state affiliates of the American Association of Birth Centers "have agreed to work collaboratively toward resolving the recent dispute regarding physician availability."

"We look forward to working with the department to resolve the issue," says Laura Evans, the attorney for the birthing centers. "We sought a collaborative resolution from the start and are pleased that DHEC has agreed. We do not plan on filing suit today because of this agreement."

Comments (6)

Showing 1-6 of 6

I am one of the Certified Nurse Midwife at CBP. Many Thanks to the Charleston City Paper for the excellent coverage of this issue. You were the 1st to report this story and the most accurate.

report 9 of 12 people like this.   
Posted by Judy Hyden Osborne on November 27, 2013 at 6:04 PM

I also work for Charleston Birth Place as a CNM. Thank you Charleston City Paper for your timely reporting and accurate coverage.

report 3 of 6 people like this.   
Posted by Leigh Wood on November 28, 2013 at 6:55 PM

Templeton/Haley should not have tried to mess with so many upper class white women.

report 2 of 7 people like this.   
Posted by nitrat on November 28, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Thank you Charleston City Paper for keeping us updated on this important story! So glad women in SC still have choices for where they give birth!

report 1 of 3 people like this.   
Posted by Jennie Dickens Harrell on November 29, 2013 at 12:20 AM

Both of my children were born with the excellent care of the Charleston Birth Place midwives. I appreciate The Charleston City Paper taking interest in this issue and helping our collective voice concerning birth choices to be heard.

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Posted by Jillian Hollingsworth on December 2, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Nitrat- you are way off. Birth center births are much, much cheaper than hospital births, and CBP has many minority customers. This is not a class or race issue- it is a woman's issue. Had you come to the rally at Stern Center Garden, you would have seen many people from every socioeconomic class, race, and ethnicity.

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Posted by Angelina Guzmán on December 4, 2013 at 11:56 AM
Showing 1-6 of 6

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