Disrespect and abuse during childbirth have been reported by numerous countries around the world. This includes the performance of invasive or surgical procedures without the informed consent of women and non-dignified treatment.

The study was done to analyze whether criminalizing obstetric violence has been conducive to the recognition and observance of the reproductive rights of women, based on the records of poor health care complaints filed by women with the Medical Arbitration Commissions in two Mexican states.

The method was an observational qualitative study design. A phenomenological approach was used. The analysis included two states with similar partner demographic and maternal health indicators but different legal classifications of obstetric violence. The researchers reviewed the records of obstetric care complaints filed with CAMs in both states, all of them concluded and including full information.

After analyzing the records of malpractice complaints in Chiapas and Oaxaca, we conclude that the differentiated legal status of obstetric violence has not influenced the recognition or observance of the reproductive rights of women. Criminalizing obstetric violence has not improved the care provided by health personnel.

Reference: https://srh.bmj.com/content/46/1/38