It's appropriate that October is both Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Respect Life Month, as domestic violence (also known as intimate partner violence) and abortion are closely linked.
1 in 3 women worldwide are subjected to gender-based violence, including intimate partner violence (IPV), which may involve:
- Sexual assault and contraceptive sabotage–thus heightened risk for/ incidence of unintended pregnancies.
- Inhospitable circumstances for women to continue pregnancies and raise their children, leading more women to see abortion as their only choice.
- Directly forced abortions.
- Homicide of mother and/or child.
This fact sheet from Know More, Say More summarizes the research into the connection between domestic violence and unintended pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, and homicide in the United States. The link between IPV and induced abortion has identified by studies from many other countries as well (including Australia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, and Italy). Some of these also link IPV and miscarriage.
Any strategy to reduce the incidence of abortion must address intimate partner violence and reproductive coercion. If you work with a pro-life group or crisis pregnancy center and would like to learn more about how your organization can serve abused women, please contact us.