Montero will prosecute doctors for “sexist obstetric violence” if his abortion law is successful

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The reform of the Abortion law what do you want to carry out Ministry of Equality from Irene Montero continues to bring health professionals headlong. The last victims They are the doctors whom Montero intends to accuse of “sexist obstetric violence” if they incur any malpractice during childbirth.

The medical professionals feel “persecuted” by the minister with the use of an expression (“sexist obstetric violence”) that they consider “insulting” and that is not admitted neither by the scientific societies nor by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The concept of obstetric violence lands in the Ministry of Equality from Latin America. Jorge Fernández Parra, president of the Granada Medical Official College and gynecologist, ensures that the term has only been included in the laws of countries such as Venezuela or Argentina.

Precisely, in 2007 and under the mandate of Hugo ChavezVenezuela was the first country in the world to define obstetric violence (without the adjective “macho” that Montero now adds).

In article 15 of the Organic Law on the Right of Women to a Life Free of Violence, Venezuelans describe obstetric violence as “the appropriation of the body and reproductive processes of women by health personnel, which is expressed in dehumanizing treatment, in an abuse of medicalization of natural processes, bringing with it loss of autonomy and capacity to decide freely about their bodies and sexuality, negatively impacting the quality of life of women “.

“Ideological debate”

Are there practices of this type in Spain that can be accused of “obstetric violence” against health professionals? According to the doctors “no”.

As Fernández Parra recalls, when we speak of “obstetric violence” we refer to forced sterilizations without consent or caesarean sections and anesthesia without the consent of the mother, “something that does not happen in our country.”

Doctors do believe that it is necessary to pursue mala’s practice during the delivery and to carry out a rigorous control of the attention towards the mother and the child, but without entering into the concept that Montero advocates: “macho obstetric violence”.

In addition, professionals remember that the adjective “macho” has legal connotations. “We are not going to allow any colleague to commit malpractice or a deontological infraction, but what Equality proposes is an ideological debate,” criticizes the expert.

In fact, the president of the Granada College of Physicians affirms that Health has the solution to fight against possible malpractice without entering into ideological debates. It is a document of Delivery Attention published by the Ministry of Health for several years that has the consensus of scientific societies and should be the “guide” for all professionals.

“There are possibilities to improve delivery care and each center must evaluate what things are done well or badly and make their results known”, argues the doctor. Fernández Parra admits that it has been possible to “fail in things” and that there is “work to be done”, but not under “the term of sexist obstetric violence with the legal connotation it has.”

Montero’s ‘reasons’

Asked about Equality’s arguments for talking about obstetric violence, Fernández Parra recalls that Spain has one of the lowest maternal and neonatal mortality rates in the world.

“They assure that in Spain many episiotomias (the incision in the perigee to facilitate delivery) and it is true that, for a time, it was like that. Not since 2005. At that time, a series of indications were made so that there were no episiotomies in a systematic way, “he says.

According to the 2018 data from the Ministry of Health, only 27.5% of vaginal deliveries in Spain required an episiotomy. A figure “low” in the eyes of the gynecologist and that responds to a need. “The episiotomy is necessary in some cases, if it is not done, tears can occur”, he points out.

There are more reasons -according to Montero’s team- to say that obstetric violence exists in Spain: the high rate of caesarean sections. Here the minister’s department speaks of a WHO statistic that has become obsolete and of which the same organism has been discarded.

The WHO, at first, spoke of the ideal caesarean section rate as 15% of all deliveries (a figure that Spain surpasses). In the aftermath, the organization affirmed that being above this rate “does not decrease or increase the mortality of children or mothers.”

Another of the arguments they give is the practice of what has come to be called “the husband points“. A technique that gynecologists assure has never been used”. “Not before or now.” It consists of sewing “over” the mother’s episiotomy so that “the husband would have more satisfactory relationships.” madness that they have denounced and that I have neither heard nor seen it “, concludes the gynecologist

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