In this video Germaine Greer discusses the politics of womens health and maternity rights from a historical perspective at the launch of Bodily Harm, a report by SOS Ireland Chairperson Marie O’Connor.
The report reveals the performance by doctors of a second 18th century childbirth operation. O’Connor explained: ‘if obstetricians failed to find the joint of the symphysis, they cut the pubic bone instead in a related operation known as pubiotomy that was even more shunned by doctors’.
Contrary to what the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Ireland (IOG) have claimed, hardly any of these operations were done for medical reasons. O’Connor underlines that her report ‘charts the disinformation given to Dail deputies on this issue over the past 10 years. Successive ministers have been misinformed by the Department of Health on foot of information supplied by the IOG.’
SOS is campaigning for the rights of women in Ireland who underwent symphysiotomy and pubiotomy to have their cases recognised by the Irish Government and for consent in maternity cases to be written into law.