It. beggars. belief. that during the 20th century Irish women had their pelvises sawed in half without consent during childbirth.

Symphysiotomy: the practice of breaking a woman’s pelvis during childbirth usually performed in cases of obstructed labour when cesarean was not available or feasible. In Ireland this was performed without consent when cesarean was the safer and readily available option due to the influence of the catholic church, who imposed the procedure because it allowed for future pregnancies while cesarians would limit them (there was an expectation for women to bear 9-10 children). Consequences of the procedure include psychological trauma, long-term walking difficulty, sexual dysfunction, incontinence, urethral and bladder injury, infection, and chronic pain. Astonishing tragedy.

The following is a personal account from one survivor:



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