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Have You Experienced Birth Control Sabotage? Share Your Story

January 23rd, 2008     by Thea Lim     Comments

I found this announcement from the American organisation, the Family Violence Prevention Fund on the Women’s Health News blog:

Holes poked in a condom. Flushed pill packets. A boyfriend’s sneer that “Depo-Provera is for sluts.” Widespread but often silenced, women’s experiences of birth control sabotage offer a prime example of how violence and abuse in intimate relationships are linked with reproductive health and rights.

This September, a groundbreaking study by Dr. Elizabeth Miller of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities revealed just how common the problem really is.

Miller found that a quarter of teenage girls with histories of abusive relationships living in poor neighborhoods in Boston reported that their abusive partners actively tried to get them pregnant by manipulating condom use, sabotaging birth control, and making explicit statements about wanting them to become pregnant.

Troubling stuff. And something that needs to be more openly dicussed — both in the women’s health community and in the wider national arena.

That’s where women like YOU enter the picture. The Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF) is searching in a wide variety of venues for women who are willing to share their personal experiences of birth control sabotage and other negative attempts - no matter how seemingly “small” - to control their reproductive rights.

Have you ever had to hide your pills from your boyfriend or husband? Has your intimate partner been verbally or emotionally manipulative about your birth control choices? Have you ever been pressured into an abortion or an unintended pregnancy? We want to hear your story, because we think it matters, and we believe it can make a difference to women in similar situations.

Your stories can be emailed to safewomenstories@gmail.com. If you’d like to share anonymously, let us know; if you’d prefer to take a more active role as a spokeswoman, tell us that, too. We’re eager to hear your thoughts, experiences, and ideas, and we think they’ll be a crucial part of this new effort to put a widespread and serious problem on the public’s radar screen.

Tags: body politics

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