“He Used to Tell Me That If I Continue With the Pills, Then He Would Break My Leg”: A Qualitative Exploration of Reproductive Coercion in Bangladesh

Erin Pearson , Ipas
Fahima Aqtar, Ipas Bangladesh
Dipika Paul, Ipas Bangladesh
Jamie Menzel, Ipas
Ruvani Fonseka, University of California, San Diego
Jasmine Uysal, University of California, San Diego
Kathryn Andersen, Ipas
Jay Silverman, University of California, San Diego

Reproductive coercion (RC) includes behaviors that undermine women’s autonomous decision-making in reproductive health and is known to negatively impact women’s well-being and reproductive health. This qualitative study explored RC in Bangladesh using in-depth interviews (IDIs) and focus group discussions (FGDs) with women seeking violence support or abortion services and with abortion providers. All IDIs and FGDs were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim, and translated from Bangla to English for thematic analysis. We find that RC is perpetrated primarily by husbands and in-laws, and ranges from telling a woman not to use contraception to severe violence. RC occurs for a variety of reasons and is bidirectional, with women experiencing coercion to become pregnant or keep a pregnancy against their will, and coercion to avoid pregnancy or to abort a pregnancy against their will. Coping strategies included private use of contraception and abortion as well as strategies to avoid forced abortion.

See paper

 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1