Nathanael Johnson at California Watch just broke this story, and it is a disturbing read. Cesarean rates are dependent on a wide variety of factors, and most people know that individual practitioners have different comfort levels with vaginal birth. But these statistics go far beyond individual practitioners. Not only the doctor you choose but also the hospital where you deliver will significantly affect your ability to birth non-surgically.
Los Angeles Community Hospital comes in at the top with a whopping 47% cesarean rate for LOW RISK women. Compare to Riverside County Regional, which has a rate of only 9% (within the acceptable limit as stated by the World Health Organization*). It is worth asking questions about this disparity.
And for those who are pregnant or want to get pregnant: choose your doctor and your hospital with care. In depth statistics are available.
* World Health Organization, UNFPA, UNICEF, and AMDD. Monitoring Emergency Obstetric Care: A Handbook. Geneva: World Health Organization, 2009. (Thanks to Gina for the reference.)