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Tue, Feb 03

Ireland’s gruesome era of symphysiotomy

Rita McCann still remembers the day when her joy at the prospect of giving birth to her first child turned into sheer terror.

It was December 15th, 1957 when she went into labor at a hospital in Dublin, Ireland. As she floated in and out of consciousness, she remembers being taken into a room with a single bed.

“I was pulled to the bottom of the bed. My legs were strapped into stirrups. I was nine months pregnant, flat on my back,” she says. “I was helpless and I did not know what was going to happen.”

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