Geoffrey Davis (doctor)
Geoffrey Davis (died 3 October 2008) was an Australian doctor and director of the International Abortion Research and Training Centre. In the early 1960s Davis had two clinics in the Potts Point and Arncliffe suburbs of Sydney where he carried out discreet terminations up until 1971, when abortion was legalised in New South Wales. Though Davis was originally an anaesthetist, he is known for his work with late term abortions. Davis had worked with Population Services International, the International Fertility Research Program, and International Planned Parenthood Federation in the 1960s. Davis also did research on prior induced abortion.
Davis is best known for his work in performing late-term abortions following the mass rapes during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Davis worked in a victim relief programme in Bangladesh in the year following the liberation war at the request of the World Health Organization and International Planned Parenthood Federation. He estimated that the commonly cited figures for those raped were probably "very conservative" compared with the real numbers. Davis reported that he had heard of numerous suicides by victims, and of infanticides during the course of his work and estimated that around 5,000 rape victims had performed self-induced abortions. He also compared the extant of the atrocities to the Nazi Lebensborn program.
'I felt that Tikka Khan's programme (ordering his soldiers to violate Bengali women indiscriminately) was an obscenity, comparable to Heinrich Himmler's Lebensborn Ministry in Nazi Germany. It gave me some satisfaction to know that I was contributing to the destruction of the policies of West Pakistan.'
Davis, in conjunction with Leonard Laufe, set up in Dhaka "industrial scale procedures" of abortion in the year following the war. Between them they carried out 95 percent of terminations which had resulted from the mass rapes. Davis also travelled for months in remote areas to carry out terminations. Davis has estimated that up to 400,000 women and children had been raped by the Pakistani armed forces and their collaborators, the Al-Badr ("the moon") the Al-Shams ("the sun") and the Razakars. As well as his work in carrying out terminations Davis also worked with international adoption agencies in trying to find families for the children who were unwanted due to cultural beliefs. Davis died on 3 October 2008 in Australia.
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- Mookherjee, Nayanika (2007). "Available Motherhood: Legal technologies, `state of exception' and the dekinning of 'war-babies' in Bangladesh". Childhood (14): 339–355. doi:10.1177/0907568207079213.
- Brownmiller, Susan (2007). William F. Schulz, ed. The Phenomenon of Torture: Readings and Commentary. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 92. ISBN 978-0812219821.
- Mookherjee, Nayanika (2012). Raphaelle Branche, Fabrice Virgili, ed. Rape in Wartime. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 77. ISBN 978-0230363991.
- Hossain, Anushay (21 May 2012). "1971 Rapes: Bangladesh Cannot Hide History". Forbes.
- Khan, Kamrul Ahsan (10 October 2008). "Friend of Bangladesh Dr Geoffrey Davis passes away". Priyo Australia.