DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

05.29.13

Partners Sabotage Birth Control

Men use reproductive coercion to make women pregnant.

Gold diggers aren’t the only ones who force their partners into pregnancies. Research shows that some men are increasingly sabotaging birth control to exercise control over women’s bodies. In a survey of more than 640 women, Dr. Lindsay Clark found that 16 percent of their partners poked holes in condoms, hid birth-control pills, or threatened them if the women didn’t get pregnant. This year, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists urged doctors to ask patients questions like “Does your partner support your decision about when or if you want to become pregnant?” And in a 2010 study, 15 percent of 1,300 women who visited federal- and state-subsidized California family-planning clinics had their birth control sabotaged. This may offer an explanation into why unintended pregnancy rates are so high for women in abusive relationships.