I can’t possibly explain birth rape better than Amity Reed at the f word:
A woman who is raped while giving birth does not experience the assault in a way that fits neatly within the typical definitions we hold true in civilised society. A penis is usually nowhere to be found in the story and the perpetrator may not even possess one. But fingers, hands, suction cups, forceps, needles and scissors… these are the tools of birth rape and they 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. Women are slapped, told to shut up, stop making noise and a nuisance of themselves, that they deserve this, that they shouldn’t have opened their legs nine months ago if they didn’t want to open them now. They are threatened, intimidated and bullied into submitting to procedures they do not need and interventions they do not want. Some are physically restrained from moving, their legs held open or their stomachs pushed on.
Birth rape is the violence and assault women are subjected to by those they are trusting to safely care for them while they give birth. It is ignoring a woman’s refusal of procedure. It is anything which in any other situation would be considered assault/battery. It is the culture of intimidation, threats and coercion prevalent in hospitals today, which has even spread to some midwives.
Those who abuse pregnant and birthing women under the guise of care giving need to be called to account. Sadly, most people are unwilling to admit women are routinely assaulted by doctors, nurses and midwives. Women need to tell their stories so that one day these abusers can’t hide behind claims of doing their jobs to avoid the legal and professional repercussions of their abuse.