Irish News

Friday 1 August 2014

Birth-op group taking case to UN torture body

Emma Jane Hade and Eilish O'Regan

Published 12/03/2014|02:30

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Catherine McKeever

A SUPPORT group for women who underwent barbaric childbirth procedures are to make a complaint to the UN Committee on Torture and Human Rights on the grounds the redress scheme here was "fundamentally misconceived from the start".

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Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SoS) said it is now 15 years since they revealed the extent of the procedure and the State has still not acknowledged the wrong that was done.

The step was hailed by chairperson of the Survivors of Symphysiotomy (SoS), Marie O'Connor as a "further step on the long road to truth and justice".

The procedure involved permanently widening the pelvis, leaving the women with life-long pain and injury.

The survivors' group has filed charges with the UN committee against torture and the UN human rights committee charging the State with violations of its obligations under international law.

Ms O'Connor said that the mutilating childbirth operations were performed "in the absence of medical necessity and without patient consent (which) constituted torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment".

Over 100 volunteers of the SOS group met in Dublin yesterday, and Catherine McKeever was amont the crowd.

She underwent the unnecessary procedure in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co Louth, almost 45 years ago.

She said that the pain she endured during the procedure still haunts her until this day, and it is something that she "will never forget".

Irish Independent

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