A damning report has revealed that Irish women had to endure a brutal form of surgery during childbirth, as caesarean sections were withheld.

The report entitled: “Bodily Harm: Symphysiotomy and Pubiotomy in Ireland 1944-92” was launched on Tuesday.

Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SOS) are now calling on the Irish government to establish an independent inquiry into the invasive form of childbirth surgery.

A procedure known as pubiotomy which involved cutting the pubic bone was performed on Irish women during difficult births.

The research says that up to 1,500 symphysiotomies were carried out on women who gave birth in the Republic from 1944 and 1984.

It was performed on women where a similar operation a sympysiotomy,  which involved splitting the pelvis was too difficult.

The report which was conducted by Marie O’Conner established that “hardly any” of the operations performed were done out of necessity.

Women were rarely asked for consent and many who underwent the procedure experienced chronic pain, incontinence and difficulty walking.

‘The Department of Health has been led by a body with a vested interest in this matter - the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists," said the report’s author, Marie O’Connor.

The findings of the report concludes that obstetricians decided to split women’s pelvis’ so that they would be encouraged to limit the number of children they had.

‘‘Natural justice demands that those who were responsible for these mutilating operations be held accountable," O’Connor added.


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