Women Battle 'Birth Rape'

Uncaring, brutal exams can traumatize laboring moms
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 8, 2010 3:03 AM CDT
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(Newser) – The mothers of the world are mad, and they're not going to take it anymore. A growing movement against "birth rape" is placing institutions on notice that women in labor oppose any vaginal intrusion by "fingers, hands, suction cups, forceps, needles and scissors" without consent, notes the Sydney Morning Herald. Uncaring, sometimes brutal physical examinations often traumatize vulnerable laboring women, notes birthtalk.com, which defines "birth rape" as anything that "crosses decent boundaries."

Critics have called the assumption that doctors can examine women in labor whenever and how ever they please "institutional violence against women." One blogger complained: "The tools of birth rape are wielded with as much force and as little consent as if a stranger grabbed a passer-by off the street and tied her up before having his way with her."

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