Reproductive Coercion is a form of abuse that we typically see in heterosexual relationships (though it can occur in LGBTQIA+ relationships, it is rare). This type of abuse happens when the male partner attempts to control their partner’s ability to make decisions when it comes to her reproductive health. Some of the most common forms of reproductive coercion include birth control sabotage, pregnancy pressure and pregnancy coercion. Though you may not hear about it often, it is common especially for women who are already experiencing abuse and violence in their relationship. Over a third of women with histories of intimate partner violence report experiencing some form of reproductive coercion.
Controlling a woman’s body by purposely getting her pregnant is another way for abusers to keep their partner trapped in the relationship. Having options in regards to reproductive health and family planning are crucial for a victim’s journey of healing.
In some cases, it may be hard for women to recognize when they are victims of coercive behaviors when it comes to their bodies and reproductive rights. VIP is here to help victims and survivors understand abusive behaviors. Our dedicated advocates are available to answer questions, help you know and understand your options, and support you through every step of the way. If you or someone you know has experienced any of the following red flags and wants to speak with an advocate, please call our 24-hour hotline at 570-253-4401.
Birth Control Sabotage: interfering with or destroying female contraceptives, poking holes in condoms, removing condom during sex without telling the other partner (also called Stealthing), forcibly removing IUD’s, or preventing a female partner from going to a doctor to receive contraception.
Pregnancy Pressure: threats of violence or actual acts of violence if a woman does not comply with pregnancy wishes of her male partner.
Pregnancy Coercion: forcing a woman to carry or terminate a pregnancy against her wishes. Injuring a female partner to cause a miscarriage.