Obstetric violence is a term coined in Venezuela. In an editorial within the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, obstetric violence is defined as:
“Violence against women referred to in this Act, includes any sexist act that is likely to result in harm or physical, sexual, psychological, emotional,occupational, economic or patrimonial suffering; coercion or arbitrary deprivation of freedom, and the threat of executing such acts, whether occurring in public or private practice.”
Further, obstetric violence is, “…the appropriation of the body and reproductive processes of women by health personnel, which is expressed as dehumanized treatment, an abuse of medication, and to convert the natural processes into pathological ones, bringing with it
loss of autonomy and the ability to decide freely about their bodies and sexuality, negatively impacting the quality of life of women.”
Perez D’Gregorio, R. (2010). Obstetric violence: a new legal term introduced in Venezuela. International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: 111(3), 201-202. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2010.09.002
How common is obstetric violence? Do you think the term is appropriate? Why or why not?