1/3 of Abused Women Pressured Into Pregnancy

Abusive male partners use 'reproductive coercion' to maintain control
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2010 10:52 AM CST
1/3 of Abused Women Pressured Into Pregnancy
Birth control.   (<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/" target="source">©</a><a href="http://flickr.com/search/people/?m=name&q=outcast104" target="source">outcast104</a>)

(Newser) – Around a third of women physically abused by their partners are also the victims of a subtler form of abuse, dubbed “reproductive coercion.” Abusive male partners force women to become pregnant, or sabotage their birth control efforts. “In the larger scheme of violence against women and girls, it is another way to maintain control,” one doctor who has studied the phenomenon tells Newsweek.

The doctor remembers the clinic patient who opened her eyes to reproductive coercion. She was the victim of domestic violence, and also “was coming in for a pregnancy test, not wanting to be pregnant, and not wanting to use birth control.” A new study finds that even 15% of women who have never reported violence are victims of coercion. “Just like violence, it's a power thing,” says another doctor. Professionals suggest doctors be more open to the possibility of coercion as a way to identify victims of domestic violence. (Read more reproductive coercion stories.)

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