Studies show unintended pregnancy is common in abusive relationships

1/29/2010 09:36:00 AM Posted by Jesus Day Gifts

Partner abuse a factor in unintended pregnancies



Women who experience reproductive coercion, efforts made by 
male partners to sabotage birth control or coerce pregnancy, and 
partner violence

Partner abuse a factor in unintended pregnancies (Getty Images)


are at increased risk of unintended pregnancy, says a study.

Researchers also found that reproductive coercion,
including damaging condoms and destroying contraceptives,
was frequently associated with physical or sexual violence.

Lead study author Elizabeth Miller, an assistant professor
of pediatrics in the UC Davis School of Medicine and a
practitioner at UC Davis Children's Hospital, said:
"This study highlights an under-recognized
phenomenon where male partners actively attempt to promote pregnancy
against the will of their female partners.

"Not only is reproductive coercion associated with violence from male partners,
but when women report experiencing both reproductive coercion and partner
violence, the risk for unintended pregnancy increases significantly."

The team found that 15 per cent of the women surveyed said they experienced
birth control sabotage, while 53 per cent said they had experienced physical or
sexual violence from an intimate partner.

More than a third of the women who reported partner violence, 35 per cent,
also reported either pregnancy coercion or birth control sabotage.

Jay Silverman, the study's senior author and an associate professor of society
, human development and health in the Harvard School of Public Health said,
"We have known about the association between partner violence and
unintended pregnancy for many years. What this study shows is that
reproductive coercion likely explains why unintended pregnancies are
far more common among abused women and teens."

Miller added, "This study confirms that women experiencing partner
violence are more likely to have greater need for sexual and reproductive
health services. Thus, clinical settings that offer reproductive health
services likely offer the greatest opportunity to identify women experiencing
partner violence and to ensure that women receive the counseling and support
they may need."

The study, "Pregnancy Coercion, Intimate Partner Violence and Unintended
Pregnancy", was published in the journal Contraception .
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