[Cohain JS. Mars Attack. Midwifery Today 2008:88:24, 66-7. Copyright Midwifery Today. Reprinted with the explicit permission of the author]
Abstract: "Mars Attack" is new term coined to describe unjustified violation of women by care providers at the time of birth, as well as the purposeful abandonment of the peer review system by major obstetric journals and the abandonment of the use of research evidence by ACOG in their latest protocols, in order to justify continued use of this form of violence against women.
Birth rape has existed since the mainstream of doctors aggressively and systematically began their attempt to eliminate the power of midwives to assist at births 250 years ago. This change in the nature of birth assistance is symbolized by the way forceps was promoted around 1750. It was kept as the secret trick that doctors had over midwives.(1). Only MDs were allowed to see or use a pair of forceps. This ploy marked the genesis of doctors asserting power over women’s bodies and turning women into passive objects at the time of birth.
The term "birth rape" has appeared in this magazine and on some blogs (2), but is not well-accepted. Although the word rape has been used to mean abusive treatment and violation in contexts that do not involve intercourse, such as a rape of justice or soldiers raping the countryside, the vast majority of people are offended by application of the word rape to a medical procedure.