Is Intimate Partner Violence Associated with Unintended Pregnancy? A Review of the Literature
AbstractAlthough a substantial body of literature explores the adverse physical and mental health consequences associated with intimate partner violence, only a limited body of international research has explored the effect of intimate partner violence on women’s fertility control. Yet a compelling argument can be made of the indirect mechanism through which the climate of fear and control surrounding abusive relationships could limit women’s ability to control their fertility. Lack of fertility control can lead to unintended pregnancies, which are also associated with adverse outcomes for women’s and infant health, especially in developing countries. The association between intimate partner violence and unintended pregnancy also suggests serious social effects spawned by a cycle of unintended childbearing in abusive households. Therefore, further investigation is warranted to explore the nature of the association as well as the mechanisms through which these phenomena operate in the United States and in developing countries.