Quick hit: When intimate partner violence and anti-choice violence collide

When a Washington State abortion clinic received a bomb threat earlier this year, they figured it was anti-choice violence, trying to shut the clinic down to stop people from having abortions. In fact, it was one man trying to stop one woman – his partner – from having an abortion. It was intimate partner violence on a public stage. In The Seattle Times, Mercedes Sanchez, communications and education director at the clinic, writes about the too-rarely-discussed connection between abusive relationships and pregnancy:

Pregnancy is often the focus of reproductive coercion. Abusers may see pregnancy as a way to further control a woman and to establish a lifetime connection. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 21 women in the U.S. has had a partner try to get her pregnant against her will.

Women and teens with abusive partners are five times more likely to have unwanted pregnancies.

Abusers may be threatened by pregnancy and see it as a sign of losing control of their partners. Abuse can escalate out of resentment toward either the partner or the potential child.

The Pan American Health Organization foundpregnant women are 61 percent more likely to be beaten than women who are not pregnant. The most startling statistic is that homicide is the second leading cause of traumatic death for pregnant women in the U.S., according to Futures Without Violence.

You can read the whole thing here.

Avatar ImageChloe Angyal came out of the womb opinionated.

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Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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