When a husband or boyfriend refuses to wear a condom or hides a woman’s birth control pills that’s a form of abuse called reproductive coercion, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wants doctors to screen for it.
“…In studies cited by the committee, “birth control sabotage” was reported by 25% of teen girls with abusive partners and by 15% of women who were physically abused. Some men go as far as to pull out a woman’s intrauterine device (IUD) or vaginal contraceptive ring, the committee says.
” ‘Often, it’s about taking away choices, taking away freedom, control and self-esteem,’ says Rebekah Gee, an obstetrician and gynecologist in New Orleans and assistant professor at Louisiana State University. She did not work on the opinion, but has studied the problem….
“The opinion says obstetricians and gynecologists can help women in these relationships by directing them to agencies and hotlines that help abused women, including the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). But it also says doctors can take direct action, by providing women with hard-to-detect birth control methods (including IUDs with the removal strings cut, if necessary) or a stash of emergency contraceptive pills (in a plain envelope).”
The article states that in a small study reports of reproductive coercion dropped 71 percent among women who go information about abuse. The article says many women don’t even realize it’s a form of abuse.
So what do you think: Would a doctor asking about this at your annual visit help? Would you talk to your daughters about this to make sure they know it’s not OK for men to do this? Has this ever happened to you?