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Obstetric violence: struggle for recognition, judicialization and the notion of a "good birth"

Grant number: 15/09862-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2015
Effective date (End): February 29, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Urban Anthropology
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Guita Grin Debert
Grantee:Mariana Marques Pulhez
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):17/03615-7 - Obstetric violence: contested meanings, rights, science and medicalization, BE.EP.DR


The purpose of this research is to analyze the way in which the category of obstetric violence is created, the meanings assigned to it and ethical arenas of conflicts built around the notion of "good birth". This category is becoming each day theme of claims for recognition of acts seen as violent during labor, delivery, and postpartum. The so-called movement of humanization of childbirth has been building over the years a political agenda of struggle for legitimacy of the idea that certain acts committed against the will of pregnant women should be understood as disrespect to their sexual and reproductive rights. The dispute, however, fall into the differences between the notions of what a "good birth" is, built within what Didier Fassin called movement of compassion based on humanitarian reasons. Results of such disputes have been active formulation of laws and government programs in Brazil - anchored in international delivery care trends - and that, in order to draw attention to obstetric violence, have pointed to its existence in Brazilian hospitals. And it has been backed by such laws and programs that activists for combating this type of violence have been building their demands, a process which is part of what is meant as judicialization of social life. The proposal here is, therefore, to understand the moral construction of the notion of obstetric violence and its intrinsic relationship with the ideal of a "good birth" from the speeches of the different actors involved in this process: women who claim to be victims of obstetric violence, health professionals, legal practitioners and pro-birth humanization activists. Therefore, the methodology here applied is ethnography of court proceedings, monitoring of public hearings, healthcare conferences, following the work of a specialized NGO and interviews with the actors involved. (AU)

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
PULHEZ, Mariana Marques. Autonomy, consent and quality information: controversies and disputes in the construction of obstetric violence in Brazil. 2022. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas Campinas, SP.

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