reproductive abuse


Reproductive abuse – also known as reproductive coercion – is a form of abuse in which someone else controls your reproductive choices. Like all abuse, it’s used to gain power and control over you.

As you can imagine, reproductive abuse can have serious and life-changing consequences for those who experience it.

What behaviours does reproductive abuse involve?

If someone else has ever controlled your reproductive choices – such as deciding whether or not you can use contraception, whether or not you become pregnant or whether or not to continue with a pregnancy – then you’ve experienced reproductive abuse.

We’ve listed some examples of reproductive abuse below:

  • Deciding whether or not you can use contraception

  • Hiding your pills

  • Secretly removing a condom during sex

  • Lying about having a vasectomy

  • Lying about being on the pill

  • Promising to withdraw during sex and then getting “caught up in the moment”

  • Piercing holes in the condom

  • Threatening to end the relationship if you don’t have an abortion

  • Threatening to end the relationship if you do have an abortion

  • Doing whatever it takes to get you pregnant so you can’t / won’t leave

Reproductive abuse isn’t talked about much within the media or on other high-profile platforms, so it’s easy to think you’re on your own. You’re not. We’re here to help and you aren’t to blame. Call us now if you need to talk.

“He said he’d leave me if I didn’t have an abortion…”

In the UK, terminations are a perfectly legal method of ending an unwanted pregnancy. Within happy, loving relationships many couples choose to discuss the situation and come to a decision about what to do.

It is the woman – who endures pregnancy, labour and childbirth – who has the final say in what happens to her body.

No woman should ever have to endure either a termination or a pregnancy against her wishes. Your body; your choice.

If you’ve ever been emotionally manipulated into having an abortion – or into continuing with an unwanted pregnancy against your wishes – then you’ve experienced reproductive abuse.

If you feel like you could be in an abusive relationship, have a read of our get help section. For more about the services we provide, take a look at our services.

Or for urgent temporary crisis accommodation, call our 24-hour helpline on 0300 123 5101 (or 01270 250390 if you’re calling from another area).