Birth center holds rally at College of Charleston - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Birth center holds rally at College of Charleston

Posted: Updated:
By Gregory Woods
gwoods@abcnews4.com

CHARLESTON, S. C. (WCIV) -- The Charleston Birth Place says its six-month fight is still not over. On Saturday, supporters of the center rallied at the College of Charleston.

According to officials at the Charleston Birth Center, the Department of Health and Environmental Control mandated birthing centers to have a doctor on site at all times and birthing centers have until June to comply. 

Leslie Rathbun, owner of the Charleston Birth Place, says the regulation does nothing to help birthing centers.

“We have mothers and babies who sometimes need non-emergency transfers and some are actually emergency transfers and no one physician specialist can take care of that,” said Rathbun.

However, DHEC officials say that is not true. The law wants all birthing centers to have an on-call doctor available in no more than 30 minutes in case of emergency, DHEC officials said Monday.

Rathbun hopes the rally will show DHEC it should extend its June deadline, and allow them enough time to push new state legislation.

“What we want is a transfer arrangement with an acute care hospital that has both emergency services and non-emergency services for both moms and babies,” said Rathbun.

Rathbun says she expects she expects her bill to make it through the house by May 1. If it does, the bill still has to pass the state senate before it becomes law. 

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