A conceptual re-evaluation of reproductive coercion: centring intent, fear and control
AuthorTarzia, L; Hegarty, K
Source TitleReproductive Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsTarzia, L. & Hegarty, K. (2021). A conceptual re-evaluation of reproductive coercion: centring intent, fear and control. REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, 18 (1), https://doi.org/10.1186/s12978-021-01143-6.
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BACKGROUND: Reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) is a hidden form of violence against women. It includes behaviours intended to control or dictate a woman's reproductive autonomy, for the purpose of either preventing or promoting pregnancy. MAIN TEXT: In this commentary, we argue that there is a lack of conceptual clarity around RCA that is a barrier to developing a robust evidence base. Furthermore, we suggest that there is a poor understanding of the way that RCA intersects with other types of violence (intimate partner violence; sexual violence) and-as a result-inconsistent definition and measurement in research and healthcare practice. To address this, we propose a new way of understanding RCA that centres perpetrator intent and the presence of fear and/or control. Recommendations for future research are also discussed. CONCLUSION: We suggest that IPV and SV are the mechanisms through which RCA is perpetrated. In other words, RCA cannot exist without some other form of co-occurring violence in a relationship. This has important implications for research, policy and healthcare practice including for screening and identification of women in reproductive healthcare settings.
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