Reproductive Coercion: Why Women Need To Be More Vigilant About Their Reproductive Health

Sabotaging birth control is the sort of maniacal behavior Hollywood relegates to circa-1987 Glenn Close types, who also borrow children and boil bunny rabbits to take the edge off. But, as new research presented at The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reveals, more men are sabotaging birth control in order to impregnate their partners against their will.

From a study of 641 women between the ages of 18 and 44 at Women and Infants Hospital at Brown University in Providence, RI, resident Lindsay E. Clark determined that 16 percent had experienced partners interfering with their birth control. Among those, a third also reported abusive partners.

As reported by Counsel & Heal, the trend represents an emerging form of abuse, one doctors are calling “reproductive coercion”. The alarming practice has prompted birth control providers to screen “not only for physical and sexual violence but also specifically for reproductive coercion”, says Rebecca Levenson of Futures Without Violence.

From poking holes in condoms to disposing of the active pills in a birth control pack, Levenson explains that the devious practices revolve around notions of domination and possession. "To use the words of one woman I interviewed, so he can keep you in his life forever," Levenson says.

It's pretty chilling stuff—again, something you'd expect from an Adrian Lyne film and not your significant other. But if this new research tells us anything,this dark neuroses may be more common among men than previously thought. It's a reminder to safeguard ourselves, and keep an eye out for our own bodies. They're ours, after all.

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