It was almost a decade a go that the then Minister for Health Mr Micheal Martin promised there would be a review of the procedure of Symphysiotomy in Irish hospitals.
Last night saw a bill accepted by the Dáil, which removes the time limit for those women who were abused and left suffering for the rest of their lives so that they can now seek out redress. Many women didn’t know what had happened to them, it was their first child. They were failed by the hospitals and often their own GP over the years who didn’t treat them properly or explain what was done to them.
This was done to over a 1,000 women and about 200 remain still. Why was it done?
Contraception was not legal here until 1984, and there is a limit to the number of C sections a woman may have, so to get around that symphysiotomy was used.
Contraception was banned as Ireland was considered a Catholic country.
Again catholic dogma resulted in substandard of care of women in Irish Maternity hospitals leaving them in agony.
Why did women put up with it? Because they were told to, often the term to offer up your suffering would be used when it came to ‘women’s issues’ and ‘The Curse’. To this day Irish women are hesitant to talk about OB/Gyn issues and reproductive issues, this needs to change, we need to be better informed and to share our stories.
The Survivors of symphysiotomy, did not give informed consent, they were not told which procedure and why and the repercussions of it. I am glad the bill has been accepted and more people know of what happened, when I first wrote about symphysiotomy 3 years ago most people had no idea what it was, hopefully now we are aware we will try and make sure that women living here in Ireland never suffer such abuses again at the hands of health care professionals.