Holy Hormones Journal: Reproductive and contraceptive coercion is alive and well. So much so that a study points out the need for health care providers to address the issue with their patients. I became aware of this issue many years ago in my studies when I found out that a woman was abused; kicked, beaten, assaulted more during a pregnancy than any other time in her life.
Reproductive coercion, intimate partner violence prevalent
Women & Infants Hospital
Enough women experience reproductive coercion — male behavior to control contraception and pregnancy outcomes — that a research team now recommends health care providers address the subjects with their patients and tailor family planning discussions and recommendations accordingly. “Reproductive coercion, co-occurring with intimate partner violence, is prevalent among women seeking general obstetrics and gynecology care,” note the authors. In addition, reproductive coercion has been associated with intimate partner violence, including threats, physical injury, or sexual abuse.
Enough women experience reproductive coercion — male behavior to control contraception and pregnancy outcomes — that a research team now recommends health care providers address the subjects with their patients and tailor family planning discussions and recommendations accordingly.
Researchers from Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island were part of a team that published “Reproductive coercion and co-occurring intimate partner violence in obstetrics and gynecology patients” in a recent issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
“Reproductive coercion, co-occurring with intimate partner violence, is prevalent among women seeking general obstetrics and gynecology care,” notes Rebecca H. Allen, MD, of Women & Infants. She and Amy S. Gottlieb, MD, of the hospital’s Women’s Primary Care Center, participated in the study of 641 women ages 18 to 44, along with Chris Raker, ScD, a statistician in the hospital’s Division of Research.
Study participants completed anonymous surveys. The survey defined reproductive coercion as:
- Pregnancy coercion, such as a male partner threatening to harm the woman physically or psychologically (with infidelity or abandonment) if she did not become pregnant
- Birth control sabotage, such as flushing oral contraceptive pills down the toilet, intentionally breaking or removing condoms, or inhibiting a woman’s ability to obtain contraception
“This is a far too common problem in this country. A study of 9,000 women by the National Center for Injury Prevention and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that at least 9% of adult females in the United States have experienced reproductive coercion,” Dr. Gottlieb explains. “Such coercion could have tremendous impact on a woman’s ability to plan pregnancies or control her own fertility.”
FRA: Violence against women survey
Our sisters in the UK – are experiencing the same coercion and intimate partner violence. I am proud to say the woman in this video is a spirit sister and colleague of many, many years. She has become a spokeswoman on this issue in the UK and in Europe.