Stealing babies: your classist, ableist, racist trifecta

[Content note: pregnancy, nonconsensual medical treatment]

Chris Miller and Sarah Wilson have both done a fantastic job blogging on this story, so I thoroughly recommend reading what they have to say.

Recap:  an Italian woman in Britain had a mental health issue.  She was pregnant.  The state, for reasons so far unknown, performed a C-section on her without her consent and put her child in care.  This is approximately every level of fucked up.

But now, because more details have become clear, it sounds like a lot of progressive people think it’s not as big a deal, because it was doctors who made the decision to perform the C-section which has now led to this woman’s child potentially being permanently adopted without her consent.

I have a question.

What the fuck are you even doing?

Even the most able-bodied in-full-health no-medical-issues-ever progressive should be able to comprehend that doctors are not gods, and are not infallible, and are certainly capable of making fucked up decisions for fucked up reasons.

Like Dr Joseph Lee who refused to prescribe contraception to a young woman because “his conscience” told him to lecture her about The Duties Of Women instead.

Like the numerous doctors who refuse to perform basic diagnosis on patients who are fat.  (Degenerative spine condition?

Like the doctors who performed the Unfortunate Experiment on New Zealand women.

[EXTREME TRIGGER WARNING for abusive medical practice, genital mutilation]  Or Dr Graeme Reeves who deliberately mutilated women’s genitals while performing surgery on them.

How about the amount of research which shows doctors are more likely to label people of colour as “non-compliant”?  Or prison medical staff coercing incarcerated women to be sterilised?

This isn’t an argument that all doctors are evil and none are to be trusted.  Just as pointing out the utterly shitty culture the NZ Police have towards victims of sexual violence, especially sexual violence committed by members of the NZ Police, isn’t an argument that all police officers are rapists.

But frankly, enough of them are that you should not feel comfortable just assuming that doctors – or police officers – are acting with integrity.  Especially when the person on the receiving end of their treatment has the black marks of mental illness, migrant status, and gender against her.


  1. verbscape

    The whole thing is enraging. In terms of “medical abuses of the mentally ill”, of fucking COURSE doctors perpetrate that shit. That’s why they’re MEDICAL abuses.

    Also note: women (and others) with mental illness who are pregnant? If they don’t take their medication, they’re ~endangering themselves~. If they do take their medication, they’re ~endangering the foetus~. There is NO FUCKING WIN. Not that there ever is.

  2. Debbie

    This story nearly made me cry. It’s just awful that so-called professionals could be so cruel and so inhumane.

    I can’t think of anything worse, as a mother, than having my baby stolen from me. Except perhaps having my stomach ripped open to take her. It would drive anyone insane with grief and despair. The poor lady.

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