BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Accessibility help
Text only
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio
Woman's Hour - Weekdays 10-11am, Saturdays 4-5pm
Listen online to Radio 4

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

  Symphysiotomies Monday 9 December 2002  
Between the mid 1940's and the early 1970's hundreds of Irish women underwent horrific surgery when obstetricians sawed through their pelvic bones to deliver their babies.

The procedure, called symphysiotomy was carried out in many Catholic hospitals where doctors claimed it was safer than Caesarean deliveries.
That claim is now disputed. Most of these women were never told what was happening to them and certainly did not consent to it. They have suffered life long pain and incontinence and now they are asking the Irish Government for an explanation.
Matilda Behan, a symphysiotomy survivor, and Ann O'Donnell from the National Women's Council join Jenni to talk about the case.
S.O.S. (Survivors of Symphysiotomy) can be contacted at P.O. Box 8846, Dublin 4

Irish Examiner Archive: Women want justice
National Women's Council of Ireland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
Recent items about Society
23 March 2010: Teen mums
More items in the Society Archive
Listen now to the latest Woman's Hour
Listen Now
Latest programme
Listen again to previous programmes
Listen Again
Previous programmes

Retired? Downsizing? Moving home to be nearer the kids?

We'd like to hear your stories about moving house

Image: Find out how more about the Woman's Hour podcast
More about Woman's Hour podcasts

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy