SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

Pushed Into Pregnancy

SS Member Image By drodriguez 08.31.10
Pushed Into Pregnancy
Share Tweet

We have all heard stories of emotional and physical abusel, but there is another type of abuse that is on the rise that is rarely reported on.  Reproductive coercion is when a man verbally or physically threatens the woman he is with if she tries using birth control during sex.  The man may also purposely damage condoms or other forms of birth control in an attempt to impregnate a partner.

According to a report from Time magazine, reproductive coercion is on the rise and more common than most people think. This type of abuse usually occurs in relationships that have already been emotionally abusive.  Professor and researcher on the issue, Elizabeth Miller, says “It’s another way a male partner tries to control a female partner.  Women say their partner tells them he wants to leave a legacy or have them in his life forever.”  It is thought that this type of abuse may be more common now because women depend less and less on men to support them, making abusive men feel more insecure.

Through Miller’s research and a recent study she conducted, it seems there could be a fairly easy way to help women dealing with reproductive coercion.  Miller conducted her study at four family planning clinics with about 900 women.  In two of the clinics women were simply asked whether their partner had ever tried to force them to get pregnant.  If a woman answered yes to this question she was offered advice on how to use a more  fail safe birth control method like IUDs and Depo-Provera shots.

The women who were asked about this type of abuse in the family planning clinics saw a 70 percent drop in the rate of subsequent pregnancies involving reproductive coercion. Just being asked the question seemed enough for a lot of the women to wake up and take a stand.  In the clinics where women were asked these questions, 60 percent of them left their relationships afterward because “it felt unsafe.”

What do you think about the latest research concerning reproductive coercion?

Do you think it should be mandatory that clinics ask about a patient’s history with this form of abuse?

Make a Comment

Comment  *
  • JustFenix By JustFenix

    I not only think that it is OK, if the numbers really are what are being presented there, they should be a standard part of the intro screening. When you consider the questions that are initially asked when you enter this type of clinic, is "Are you being pressured to conceive?" really all that intrusive or overly personal? Anything that can open the door to conversation that empowers women and enables them to take a stand for themselves is a good thing!

  • josmommy By josmommy

    Eew there are guys out there that do that?I wouldn't be sneaking bc I would be finding a way out of the realationship for sure and fast why introduce a child to a already messy realationship.

  • MyEmptyCanvas By MyEmptyCanvas

    Definitely a good question to ask and these women need to protect themselves. Leaving altogether is even a better option. I hate abusers of any kind, so sad...

  • pumpkinita By pumpkinita

    i think it is a valid concern for clinics to ask about this question. It is part of your medical history, it can also influence the options your doctor or the clinic might give you. i'm sure doctors would advise women what is best for themselves.

  • JasminDLopez By JasminDLopez

    Omg Ive heard of men being like this but i never knew it was this bad.

  • prettyevil6662000 By prettyevil6662000

    I don't see any reason no to ask a question like this right along with all your medical and other history. Whether or not someone has physically or mentally abused you is just as important to treating you as what medications you are currently taking.

  • vintagepurple By vintagepurple

    yeah i have seen people in relationships like this, and you cant just say well they should leave the guy, cuz thats not realistic, and i think long turm birth conrtol is a pretty good idea for those situations, becouse really as a consenting adult you have the right to be with an ass hole of you want, but bring kids, or being pressed to bring more kid int the equation isn't really fair. i totally think it would be fine for drs to ask about that kind of abuse, the majority of the stuff the dr ask me doesn't aply but when something does its often easyer if they get the ball rolling on the topic

  • momagarry By momagarry

    This is just as wrong as a woman trying to trap a man.

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    Though this isn't news to me, i have heard more stories how it was the other way around where the women would try to get pregnant just to keep their man. Though the clinic can ask the questions, they should have grounds to ask unless some people would feel offended. this is something personal. and if the woman is abused to this degree, how would she have the strengh to speak up about it?

  • littleneko By littleneko

    That is so sad that some women have to deal with this. It's good to see that there are clinics that raise questions about the issue. I think it should be a question raised, it doesn't seem intrusive and seems like it could be a standard question asked during an appointment.

More stories like this