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Domestic Violence Expert Lauds Preventing Unintended Pregnancy, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act

For Immediate Release  
July 23, 2009

Contact: Lisa Lederer
202/371-1999

Domestic Violence Expert Lauds Preventing Unintended Pregnancy, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act

Statement of Esta Soler, President, Family Violence Prevention Fund

“On behalf of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, I am pleased to support the Preventing Unintended Pregnancy, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act introduced today by Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Tim Ryan (D-OH). I appreciate the dedication of these leaders in crafting a bill that reflects a clear understanding of the impact of violence on women’s reproductive health outcomes, including unintended pregnancies.

The intersection of sexual violence and reproductive health has been largely unexplored. It is time for that to change and this legislation is an important advance in raising the public’s awareness of that connection. Too many women, while dating or in relationships, experience rape, sexual coercion or have partners who prevent them from using protection. Violence against women is associated with a host of negative reproductive health outcomes: more sexually transmitted infections (STIs), higher rates of unintended pregnancy, limited utilization of prenatal care, and poor birth outcomes. According to a study by Harvard University, one in three teenage girls abused by a boyfriend becomes pregnant. Research indicates two in five adult women who have been abused by partners have experienced an unwanted pregnancy. The legislation also reflects the fact that incidents of abuse actually increase during a pregnancy, and a woman’s ob-gyn is often the only person she’ll confide in. These health outcomes must change.

We can help by training health care providers to assess patients for abuse, and making sure that women are able to access the health services they need.

Again, I thank Representatives DeLauro and Ryan for their leadership and urge Congress to pass the Preventing Unintended Pregnancy, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act.”

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The Family Violence Prevention Fund works to end violence against women and children around the world, because every person has the right to live free of violence. More information is available at www.endabuse.org.

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