Apr 10, 2007 at 7:51 pm

LEO welcomes letters that are brief (250 words max) and thoughtful. Ad hominem attacks will be ignored, and we need your name and a daytime phone number. Send snail mail to EROSIA, 640 S. Fourth St., Louisville, Ky. 40202. Fax to 895-9779 or e-mail to [email protected]. We may edit for length, grammar and clarity.


An item in the March 28 music column, Sight Unsound, gave a wrong last name for the singer for Little Charlie & the Nightcats. It is Charlie Baty. LEO regrets the error.

Take Back Our Rights

I’m writing in response to Amanda Clark’s letter (LEO, March 28) regarding Judy Berger’s commentary about normal birth. My first son was born via C-section and the second was a VBAC (vaginal birth after Cesarean), which was hard fought and involved leaving the state to find a care provider who would support my decision to birth the normal way. I find casual attitudes toward major abdominal surgery and robbing a woman of the profoundly empowering experience of childbirth to be much more offensive than Judy Berger’s piece promoting healthy childbirth. I guess ignorance is bliss, and what you don’t know might not hurt you, but I believe undermining a woman’s confidence in her phenomenal ability to give birth is a crime.

It’s not my intention to make Clark feel guilty about her childbirth choice — I don’t have the power to do that. My intention is to tell my story so women can be fully informed. After six months of post-partum depression following my c-section, I thought I was healed emotionally and physically until I became pregnant again and started investigating my desire to give birth the normal way. I was met with scare tactics that my uterus would rupture, killing both my baby and me, and that the odds of getting this baby out on my own were slim to none. Those are lies. My chances of uterine rupture with spontaneous onset of labor (meaning no inducing of labor by synthetic means) was less than 1 percent (lower than the risk of complications following a repeat C-section). I also began investigating my C-section and found that it was completely unnecessary: There was no fetal or maternal distress, no medical reason that my baby and I couldn’t be left alone with the most perfect system and give birth normally. I guess they were just tired of waiting.

I feel like I’m still trying to heal even after five years. I feel robbed and betrayed by the very people I was trusting with my care. I guess I should thank those OBs, because without them, I would not be the person I am today. I am a person who is passionately devoted to helping women give birth the way they deserve. I think we need to take back our power — our right to experience the power of our bodies.

Susan Linville

Supporting Birth Choice

Amanda Clark’s letter was perfectly timed. April is Cesarean Awareness Month. It is wonderful to hear from a mother satisfied with her care provider and birth experience, whatever they may be. It sounds as though Amanda had excellent care and support, and that she freely chose the path that was best for her and her family. Every mother deserves that opportunity.

Unlike Amanda, many women have not chosen to deliver by cesarean, but rather have been coerced into cesarean by care providers who embrace the medical model of birth. For mothers who desire vaginal childbirth, an unintended cesarean can be devastating. Cesarean surgery often slows the processes of bonding, physical healing and nursing. Cesarean surgery can increase the risk of post-partum depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Many women would gladly endure the discomfort of late pregnancy and vaginal birth in order to be active participants in the births of their children.

Louisville mothers have options. If you want a cesarean, make sure you know the procedure, risks and benefits. That is your right. But, if you do not want a cesarean, exercise your right to informed consent. Visit the Web site for information on avoiding cesarean, choosing a care provider who can best help you achieve the birth you want, recovering from cesarean, or planning vaginal birth after cesarean. ICAN of Louisville is a non-profit organization designed to support informed decision making, not to attack mothers for whom cesarean really is the best option.

Kerry Miles Wright

A Tired Debate

I am responding to Ray Rieck’s letter in Erosia (LEO, March 28) justifying Albert Mohler’s suggestion that eugenics may be the Final Solution to homosexuality.

This is a very tired “debate”; we’re all sick of it after living through the Republicans’ latest chapter in the Southern Strategy, playing on the fear and loathing in so many people of everything gay. Rieck calls homosexuality evil, based on nothing but a couple of blurbs in an ancient religious book while conveniently ignoring the evils of wearing polyester, eating lobster and the Christian god’s demand that we stone disobedient children to death. Who friggin’ cares what a few brainless Christians think, and why on earth did Leo choose to publish his letter?

Almost nowhere in the media are the facts pointed out — it’s nothing but a need to publish sensationalism and sell more advertising. The media contributes to the Republicans’ Southern Strategy. Every single reputable medical and psychological association in the country has come to the same conclusion: that homosexuality is healthy, normal and natural. Religious fanatics, representing a minority in their own religion and in this country, are given too much legitimacy. Their fascist statements are almost never countered with the conclusions that society’s experts came to decades ago and that the U.S. Supreme Court was finally forced to acknowledge in Lawrence v. Texas.

Bigots tell us their opinions based on a couple of blurbs in the Bible and they are countered with opinions from “liberals.” Facts, science and logic are against them, not just liberalism. Facts are nonpartisan, and if the facts threaten a person’s religious beliefs, then those beliefs are as weak as the person who is trying to hold on to them. Of course they are entitled to their views, and I believe it is important to pay attention to those. We need to stay aware of the fascism in this country, especially when it reaches Congress and the White House, but it’s the media’s responsibility to put these people into proper perspective.

If one pathetic man at a Baptist seminary believes that eugenics is the answer to the “evils” of homosexuality, then let’s hear what the American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association and others have to say about it. Let’s hear more from all of the Christians
who are offended by this lunatic and
let’s hear more from the real experts like me, a homosexual.

Michael Lenhart