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'Everything is Obstetric Violence Now': Identifying the Violence in 'Obstetric Violence' to Strengthen Socio-legal Reform Efforts

Pickles, Camilla

'Everything is Obstetric Violence Now': Identifying the Violence in 'Obstetric Violence' to Strengthen Socio-legal Reform Efforts Thumbnail


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Abstract

Since its global uptake, 'obstetric violence' is increasingly used to capture any/all violations during reproductive healthcare, with few conceptual limits. Consequently, it runs the risk of becoming an overgeneralised concept, making it difficult to operationalise in socio-legal reform efforts. This article draws on the Latin American origins of the concept and aims to provide a theoretical framework to support a focused and coherent socio-legal reform agenda. It offers a universal definition of violence, being the violation of physical or psychological integrity, and localises this definition using the 'view from everywhere'. The article proposes that violence will qualify as 'obstetric violence' if the violation of integrity occurs in the context of antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care. Further, the subject of the violence is the birthing woman, trans or non-binary person. Thinking in terms of a 'continuum of violence' in reproductive healthcare ensures that different forms of obstetric violence are recognised and helps envisage overlaps with other violences.

Citation

Pickles, C. (2024). 'Everything is Obstetric Violence Now': Identifying the Violence in 'Obstetric Violence' to Strengthen Socio-legal Reform Efforts. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 2024, https://doi.org/10.1093/ojls/gqae016

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 26, 2024
Online Publication Date May 4, 2024
Publication Date May 4, 2024
Deposit Date May 13, 2024
Publicly Available Date May 13, 2024
Journal Oxford Journal of Legal Studies
Print ISSN 0143-6503
Publisher Oxford University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2024
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/ojls/gqae016
Keywords obstetric violence; law reform; reproductive violence; continuum of violence; dehumanisation; childbirth
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2433843

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