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The associations among partner violence, problems with birth control, and abortion number and timing $58,960

Gillian Dean, Planned Parenthood of New York City, 2011
See also executive summary.

Project abstract

More than two decades of research has shown that partner violence is associated with negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes, including sexually transmitted infections and HIV, unintended pregnancies, poor birth outcomes, and miscarriage. New research has illuminated mechanisms of influence through reproductive control by a partner such as birth control coercion and sabotage, sexual injury, and refusal to use condoms. Nonetheless, there are no published reports on the association between partner violence and abortion number, timing, and method.

We propose a retrospective matched cohort study to test the associations between partner violence and reported problems with birth control, number of past abortions, gestational age at the time of abortion, chosen method of abortion (medication or surgical), and return for post-abortion follow-up appointment. We will randomly select 14,045 medical charts of women reporting partner violence and 14,045 charts of those who do not. The full sample will be comprised of patients receiving family planning and abortion services in 2010 at a large, urban family planning organization across three health center locations. Analyses will adjust for years at risk (age and age of first intercourse) and problems with birth control prior to estimating odds of abortion characteristics by partner violence history.

Our long-term objective is to contribute to emerging knowledge about the effects of partner violence on sexual and reproductive health. We believe new evidence in this area will lead to better partner violence screening and response policies and practices across the reproductive health field, including helping women to identify the risks of violence to their health and health care needs and assist them in preventive and risk reduction strategies. This will also increase our understanding of women’s needs for accessible, affordable, and varied options for pregnancy termination.

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