I work as a labor and delivery nurse at a public hospital in California. Recently, one Saturday morning, I received a call from a young woman who had been denied care at a local private hospital during a prenatal appointment to turn her breech baby. She was told that her coverage had ended, she should get dressed and go to the county hospital. She left there late Friday afternoon and called the county hospital early Saturday. Our doctor advised her to come right in. We found that her amniotic fluid level was very low and the baby’s heart rate pattern was abnormal. She was taken for urgent cesarean section and her baby remained in the nursery for several days. The private hospital put this baby’s life in danger. How can terminating prenatal care late in pregnancy ever be cost effective?

Maggie Ewing