Latin America leads fight against abuse in reproductive care

In an op-ed published in Ms. Magazine, Mount Holyoke professor Cora Fernandez Anderson raises awareness of the mistreatment of women during pregnancy and childbirth and highlights Latin America, which is at the forefront in the fight against obstetric violence.

Though the issue of mistreatment and abuse in reproductive health care is pervasive, Latin American countries are leading the pack against such violence.

Latin American feminists refer to the physical and psychological maltreatment of people during pregnancy, labor and birth, as well as the “abusive medicalization and pathologization of natural processes that involve the loss of autonomy over [their] bodies and sexuality” as “obstetric violence,” according to an Op-Ed published in Ms. Magazine.

Mount Holyoke College Associate Professor of Politics and the Chair of Politics Cora Fernandez Anderson and Celeste Mariel Jerez, a Ph.D. candidate and professor at the University of Buenos Aires, co-authored an op-ed taking a stance on adopting the term “obstetric violence” and suggest that it is a step in the right direction.

The term has been used in legislation that outlines the rights of people during labor and delivery, and has been passed by the governments of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela.

“Latin America is leading the way in the fight against obstetric violence,” Fernandez Anderson writes. “It is time for the U.S. to follow.”

Read the rest of the op-ed.

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