Beginning Jan. 1, Roper Hospital no longer will deliver babies.

At the same time, the three-hospital health care system of which Roper is a part will expand its labor and delivery unit at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley.

The West Ashley hospital expects to deliver 1,800 babies this year. The labor and delivery expansion will allow for up to 4,000 newborns yearly, said Roper Chief Executive Officer Matt Severance.

By consolidating obstetrics services, the health care system will raise quality and lower cost, he said.

Only about 6 percent of women who have their baby at Roper Hospital come from the city peninsula, he said.

“The majority actually already live closer to Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital,” Severance said.

Although Roper will stop delivering babies, it will continue to offer prenatal care and birth preparation classes.

Severance said he met with 40 affected hospital staff members today to deliver the news. No one will lose their job because of the change, he said.

Read more in upcoming editions of The Post and Courier