The biomedicalization of reproduction, around pregnancy and childbirth, has led to a significant decline in maternal and child mortality rates worldwide. However, this new medical management of women’s bodies has been accompanied by hypertechnicalization of birth that leaves little space for women’s power of action, decision and autonomy. It may also lead to violent and disrespectful practices towards women during childbirth and to biomedical practices that are not medically justified.
Three main axes are proposed to report and analyze the epistemological issues and the controversies that obstetric violence raises in France and in other countries:
- Emergence of this issue in the public and political space
- Obstetric violence, gender violence?
- De-technicalizing childbirth: emancipation or essentialization?
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