This Is Reproductive Coercion

[Content Note: Reproductive coercion.]

About a million years ago, Aphra Behn observed in comments the absurdity of failing to identify anti-choice legislation as "reproductive coercion," which is the term for a partner interfering with a be-uterused person's desire to be pregnant or not pregnant.

Aphra was maybe not the first person on the planet to make that observation, but it was definitely the first time I recall seeing those dots being connected. That I recall it so precisely is evidence of how powerful an idea it really is, this notion that an intimate partner seeking to control a person's reproduction is a Terrible Thing, but, when the GOP does it, it's Moral Values.

So I was really thrilled to see this morning that the Guttmacher Institute is overtly defining government intervention in reproductive decisions as reproductive coercion.

Not only that: The odious Hyde Amendment is specifically called out as evidence of reproductive coercion in US governance.

And why should it not be? What is the difference between the government restricting via legislation a pregnant woman from accessing abortion, and a partner restricting via threats and intimidation a pregnant woman from accessing abortion? What is the difference between a partner flushing a woman's birth control pills down the toilet, and the government denying via legislation access to contraception?

The only difference is remove.

We are being reproductively coerced by our government. It must end.

You can read Sneha Barot's full analysis, "Governmental Coercion in Reproductive Decision Making: See It Both Ways," here.

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