The High Cost of Reproductive Coercion

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or many women, birth control unquestionably improves the quality of their lives. Amid conservative attacks on Planned Parenthood, reproductive-rights activists this month launched a social media campaign dubbed “Thanks Birth Control” to celebrate the economic, social, and health benefits of family planning.

It’s true that contraception can be transformative—but only when it’s voluntary. Unfortunately, contraception can also be used as a tool to abuse and control women. When that happens it’s called contraceptive coercion, or birth control sabotage—and it’s more widespread than you think. Such coercion has been linked to domestic violence, rape, and even the spread of HIV.

While men also experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner, women suffer it at much higher rates. A woman is assaulted every nine seconds, and 72 percent of murder-suicides involve intimate partners (94 percent of those killed are women). I have seen intimate partner violence firsthand in my work with survivors, among friends and colleagues, and as an advocate for reproductive rights and justice.

You might ask: What do reproductive rights have to do with violence inflicted by an intimate partner?

For more please go to: The American Prospect

 

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