Labor and Childbirth

Birth Rape: Real or just a Reaction to Bad Birthing Experiences?

A "new type of rape" is getting attention for its controversial nature.

woman delivery roomDate rape, marital rape, we’ve all heard of such criminal incidents at one point or another. But it’s actually more complex than we may think. 

Article 266-A of “The Anti-Rape Law of 1997” defines what constitutes rape, as follows:

"1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:

"a) Through force, threat, or intimidation;   

"b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;   

"c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and   

"d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.”

Have you ever heard of birth rape? It’s when a doctor or nurse probes into a woman’s vagina, whether using an instrument or his / her hand, without permission, while she is undergoing labor. The problem occurs when in the midst of these procedures, the woman is not treated in a respectable manner, rendering her feeling violated or offended. 

Writer Amity Reed comments on a birth rape article by Tracy Clark-Flory by explaining that birth rape involves “Fingers, hands, suction cups, forceps, needles and scissors … these are the tools of birth rape and they are wielded with as much force and as little consent, as if a stranger grabbed a passer-by off the street and tied her up before having his way with her.”

Given the aforementioned parameters on what counts as birth rape, do you think these can be considered as sexual affront on a woman?  

We’d love to know what you think. Leave a comment below.

You may also want to read:

“Women’s Rights in the Philippines: A List of Laws Protecting Women and Mothers” 


October 5, 2010. Bonnie Rochman. “Is “Birth Rape” for Real?” 

•“The Anti-Rape Law of 1997”

• July 1, 2011. “Birth-Rape: Feminists’ Constant Expanding of the Definition of Rape Has Created 24 Different Types of Rape” 

• September 10, 2010. “Birth Rape” Rhetoric is Ugly, Misleading.

Photo by The U.S. National Archives via flickr creative commons 

Post a Comment
Security Image Security Image [change]
NOTE: This is a moderated site. Posts will not appear immediately.
  • Guest Apr 18 2012 @ 08:42pm
    jpeach, Try reading the article before making a completely off topic post! What the hell does a picture have to do the probing or raping of a woman without permission? I see you just needed to get the word out or your head would explode, like everyone else crippled by their lack of judgement on Facebook.
  • jpeach Dec 21 2011 @ 07:52am
    I have a friend who is in med school and I was shocked one day to see on Facebook that she posted pictures of a lady giving birth in the hospital where she is studying. The pictures showed the woman's private parts and everything. I highly doubt that the lady gave permission to have her private parts displayed on someone else's Facebook profile. My friend is a good person but I think that in the course of her training as a doctor where they are taught to detach themselves emotionally from their patients, she forgot that the person she's observing and studying has rights and feelings that must be respected. I think it's good that some light is being shed on this. The medical community needs to be aware of this and be more respectful of the women and even men who entrust their bodies to them. They should show the utmost respect in manner and even speech, in the way they talk to and about their patients. I think it is a mechanism of their psychology that they start to see their patients as lab rats or frogs to be dissected. This needs to be seriously addressed and I'm glad that people are talking about this.
1 to 2 of 2