• paul-bradford

    If we are serious about reducing unplanned pregnancies in this country, we must bridge the gap between efforts to reduce violence against women and girls and efforts to reduce unintended pregnancy. We need innovative programs for both young men and women that address both partner violence and healthy relationships.

     

    This is a perfect example of an issue where the impulse to protect women and the impulse to protect the very young find common cause.  Domestic violence is very bad for women and it’s very bad for the unborn since more violence equals more unwanted pregnancy equals more abortion.

     

    The more power women have to choose ‘whether’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ with respect to sex, the less they will be forced to confront an abortion decision.  Violence against women is violence against the unborn.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • crowepps

    Including the guy doing the battering — who is terrified of abandonment and yet has absolutely no idea how to have a healthy relationship –

  • grayduck

    "The research report, ‘Pregnancy coercion, intimate partner violence and unintended pregnancy,’ highlights a phenomenon we labeled reproductive coercion to describe explicit male behaviors to promote pregnancy. Particularly for women with a history of partner violence, these behaviors are significantly linked with unintended pregnancy."

     

    How can you call these pregnancies unintended when explicit behaviors were engaged in to promote pregnancy?

     

    "In addition, a male partner may utilize threats and coercion to pressure a woman to get pregnant (‘pregnancy coercion’), such as telling her not to use contraception and threatening to leave her if she doesn’t get pregnant."

     

    Are you suggesting that men who wish to become fathers should not have the right to discontinue romantic relationships with women who do not share that goal? If a man wants to avoid causing a pregnancy in a woman who does not wish to become pregnant, why should he not avoid relationships with such women and seek out relationships with women who do wish to become pregnant?

     

    "More than half of the respondents (53 percent) reported experiencing physical or sexual violence from a male partner, or someone they were dating or going out with some time in their lives."

     

    !

     

    "Women who reported experiencing both partner violence and reproductive coercion experienced a 100 percent increase in their risk for unintended pregnancy."

     

    It seems to me that this is potentially a good area for common ground action on abortion. If partner violence or coercion are resulting in abortions, then the solution of preventing such violence or coercion would not be inconsistent with the ideals of either right-to-lifers or pro-choicers.

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • marysia

    i am someone who has worked many years, including in clinical practice with victims of gender based violence, to ensure that women have the power to prevent unintended pregnancies and if pregnant to access alternatives to abortion.

    these problems of reproductive coercion have been going on a long time. and i would add to them the frequent escalation of battery during pregnancy. this can result in miscarriage.

    the male partner might also overtly force the woman to have an abortion, or leave her in a situation where she feels she has no other choice for herself and her child.

    women and children born and unborn will not be able to live and thrive in freedom and safety unless these problems are addressed systematically, at the root.

    and yes, being a perpetrator of violence is deeply harmful to that person, too. men are far less than men can be when they go unchallenged in these behaviors and unsupported in learning constructive ones.


    On Common Ground Columnist & Editor, Nonviolent Choice Directory

  • jodi-jacobson

    The decision to carry or not carry a pregnancy to term is complex and encompasses many factors.

     

    Gray Duck writes:

    It seems to me that this is potentially a good area for common ground
    action on abortion. If partner violence or coercion are resulting in
    abortions, then the solution of preventing such violence or coercion
    would not be inconsistent with the ideals of either right-to-lifers or
    pro-choicers.

    It is not a good area for common ground on abortion.  It is a good area for real, constructive work to prevent domestic violence and abuse, period, and violence and rape more generally, irrespective of the effects on abortion.

     

    The last thing a woman in an abusive relationship needs is someone else taking control over her decisions for their own agenda–which is kind of the point of abuse in the first place…..to control.

     

    If you are interested in preventing violence against women then do so for the sake of it; don’t measure it against your notion of what the ultimate outcome of her vision of safety and autonomy may be as against your own.  Working on the core issue may well result in fewer unintended/unwanted pregnancies related to abuse–and that would be great–but the focus should be on the woman, her autonomy, her safety, and her choices as she defines them, no one else.

     

  • paul-bradford

    Domestic Violence Is Bad For Everybody….Including the guy doing the battering — who is terrified of abandonment and yet has absolutely no idea how to have a healthy relationship –

     

    Let there be no question or confusion on this point: What a batterer does to his partner is wrong.  An actual human being who actually matters for more than her capacity to meet his needs or please him is actually suffering harm.  How shall we name this?  Call it immoral.  Call in criminal.  Call it sinful.  I don’t think the words are what’s important, what matters is to reduce the harm that’s done to the victim.

     

    It’s all well and good to point out that the batterer is troubled by unmet needs of his own, and dealing with those ‘unmet needs’ equals more protection for his victim(s); but the violence is WRONG!  Not by "my" truth, not by "your" truth, just plain wrong.  Wrong all around, and anyone who has trouble seeing that is afflicted by moral blindness (or moral myopia).

     

    How can we stop the wrongdoing?  Does it help to shame the perpetrator, does it help to stigmatize him, does it help to victimize him with violence?  None of these things help, but the fact that there are ineffective ways to deal with domestic violence ought not be a reason for us to lose hope that we can find effective ways to deal with it.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • paul-bradford

    If you are interested in preventing violence against women then do so for the sake of it; don’t measure it against your notion of what the ultimate outcome of her vision of safety and autonomy may be as against your own.  Working on the core issue may well result in fewer unintended/unwanted pregnancies related to abuse–and that would be great–but the focus should be on the woman, her autonomy, her safety, and her choices as she defines them, no one else.

     

    It’s not as if there’s a limited amount of care and concern and love and compassion to go around.  The same impulse that leads people to want to protect women from violence also leads people to want to protect children from violence.  Policies to reduce violence against women are also policies that will reduce violence against children.

     

    Please don’t imagine there’s any advantage to trying to contain the spread of non-violence.  The fact that one person’s "notion of an ultimate outcome" might be more expansive than another’s should not be a cause for dispute.  To care about the right of determination and the bodily autonomy of women doesn’t preclude a person from caring about the right of determination and the bodily autonomy of a woman’s unborn child.

     

    Paul Bradford

    Pro-Life Catholics for Choice

  • jodi-jacobson

    Policies to address gender-based violence against women by intimate partners are vastly different than those that address violence against living, extant, born children.  They may have similar roots, they may similarities in the exercise of power, but they are vastly different. Confusing these two infantilizes women.

     

    Eliminating violence against women by intimate partners will have an effect on unintended pregnancies and by extension abortions that might have resulted from those unintended pregnancies—-not to mention health outcomes not related to pregnancy, such as fewer broken bones, black eyes, damage to internal organs, less depression and so forth.

     

    It is so predictable to see this reduced to a discussion of your agenda on abortion.  The reality is that any individual woman leaving a violent relationship with an unwanted pregnancy might choose to end that pregnancy and exercise her rights to do so.  Ending/reducing violence will reduce unintended pregnancies that will never happen in the first place, and by extension the need for abortion. There is no cause and effect relationship. 

     

    When you confuse the broader public health outcomes with individuals and individual circumstances, you more often than not end up with coercion of another kind in seeking an outcome.

     

    Women in violent relationships who seek abortion to end an unwanted pregnancy don’t necessarily share your views, Paul, on abortion, nor do they need to be further victimized, shamed, or told what to do.

     

    Care about violence against women for the sake of ending violence against women. Work on violence against born persons for the sake of ending violence against born persons.  Don’t impose your agenda on persons subject to or already victimized by violence by measuring outcomes they may not seek.

     

  • grayduck

    Jodi Jacobson, Editor, RH Reality Check on February 11, 2010 – 4:08pm: "The last thing a woman in an abusive relationship needs is someone else
    taking control over her decisions for their own agenda–which is kind
    of the point of abuse in the first place…..to control."

     

    How does "…preventing [domestic] violence or coercion…"  take "control over [the victim's] decisions?"

     

    http://www.abortiondiscussion.com

  • crowepps

    Well, it’s actually kind of hard to tell whether your plan to end domestic violence is controlling of the women’s decisions or not, since you haven’t actually stated any plans.  Just how would you go about ending domestic violence and abuse?

  • prochoiceferret

    Just how would you go about ending domestic violence and abuse?

    Why, by making fornication illegal, of course! Gray ducks believe that if we would only take that bold legal step, then abortion, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, irresponsible men, bad breath, etc. will be things of the past!

  • crowepps

    And of course Jim Grant’s One Big Idea is ‘No Abortion Under Any Circumstances’ because when a woman has sex, even if she’s raped or the pregnancy has gone wrong, the consequences are ‘pregnancy or death’.

     

    Are there any men participating here who actually recognize that this is a complex issue?  Most of the women, even the passionately ProLife women, seem to understand that there is more than one reason abortions happen and that some of them are absolutely necessary.

     

    Why is it so many of the men seem to be fully invested in their One Big Idea that will be a Simple Solution if only Women Weren’t so insistent on remaining stupid/ignorant/selfish/slutty?

  • crowepps

    Does it help to shame the perpetrator, does it help to stigmatize him, does it help to victimize him with violence?  None of these things help,

    Well, actually, most batterer’s intervention problems do use group counseling to shame the perpetrator which has a fair success rate, stigmatizing him publicly alerts potential victims to avoid him, and putting him in jail for a while will certainly prevent his violence from impacting others altogether so long as he’s locked up.

     

    What actually would make the biggest difference would be getting through to him that controlling other people does not solve his abandonment issues or resolve his anxiety but instead exacerbates it.  The more people there are under his control, the more of their behavior the authoritarian feels it is necessary to monitor, the more intense his anxiety becomes.

     

    This, of course, also applies to the various anti-individualism, anti-immorality crusaders, but it’s really hard to convince them to go in for some helpful counseling since they’re absolutely certain they can solve all their problems by making everybody be Just Like Me.

  • faultroy

    I’m all for studies, but in looking at the summation of the "Contraception Online Study," I note that there are some serious flaws. To begin with the study group is aged 16-29. I don’t know about you, but it is my understanding that a 16 year old being coerced to have sex is a FELONY. Why are minors included in such a study? The police should be called and the perpetrator arrested. The fact that obstensibly responsible "professionals" would include minors in a study indicates a serious ethical lack. The study does not define "sexual violence." In some studies for example the Center for Disease Control)intimate partner violence is defined as "using demeaning language," or " putting someone down." The fact that the study members would define "coercion" as a male telling the woman he will leave her if she does not get pregnant shows me that the study is hopelessly biased and even demeaning to women. Like Martin Luther King, I also have a dream–I have a dream that women at large will not constantly make such absurdly bigoted statements. If a man says that he will leave you if you don’t become pregnant: to most Americans that means that the relationship is thru. From what I remember, the actor Brad Pitt decided that he wanted a divorce from wife Jennifer Anniston because she did not feel the time was right for children, and he wanted them. Do we say that Pitt was acting "coercively?" If a woman wants children and a man does not–does that mean she is utilizing coercion? Well according to these academicians she is. Let’s call the police–or better yet, let’s have a study of female on male "sexual violence" on the number of men that are "coerced" into fathering children that are unwanted and that they must pay for until they are emancipated. It is these kind of mindless studies that anti abortion advocates jump on and show their Congressmen to substantiate the ignorant and mindless waste of taxpayer money. By all means, let’s find out the relationship of Partner violence and unwanted pregnancy–this is a laudable goal. But let’s not include children that under the law are having felonies perpetrated against them into the study and let’s not taint the value of the study with crude biases and bigotry by painting only women as victims of intimate partner coercion when all legitimate studies show this is just not accurate.

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