Skip to main content

Global Perspectives on Reproductive Coercion and Abuse

New Content ItemGuest Editors: Professor Laura Tarzia & Doctor Nicola Sheeran

Reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) describes behaviours intended to control or dictate a person’s reproductive choices. It can be perpetrated for the purpose of promoting, preventing or ending a pregnancy, typically by an intimate partner or family member. RCA encompasses a range of behaviours from verbal coercion and threats to influence a pregnancy outcome to the use of physical violence to induce miscarriage. It has strong links with intimate partner violence (Grace et al. 2016) and sexual violence and occurs within a context of fear and control (Tarzia & Hegarty 2021). Studies suggest that it may be linked with a range of poor mental and physical health outcomes. Despite this, RCA is an under-researched form of violence against women (and other people who can become pregnant), only formally recognised within the literature as recently as 2010 (Miller et al. 2010). Robust studies of prevalence and qualitative examinations of its context and dynamics are lacking, particularly outside of the United States family planning context. Furthermore, the existing evidence base has been troubled by conceptual murkiness which has clouded our understanding of risk and protective factors and associations with other forms of violence. For example, the inclusion of “stealthing” or non-consensual condom removal as a form of RCA irrespective of whether the behaviour was intended to cause pregnancy or not. 

This special collection will focus on advancing our conceptual understanding of RCA in a global context. We welcome high quality conceptual/theoretical or empirical papers focused specifically on RCA perpetrated by intimate partners or family members (as opposed to structural issues impacting reproductive autonomy). Both quantitative and qualitative methods are encouraged. Although we welcome submissions from any country and setting, we particularly appreciate contributions from authors located in low-and-middle-income countries or the Global South.  

Areas of interest include: 
•    Interactions between RCA and sexual violence;
•    Prevalence studies that measure the full spectrum of RCA behaviours (including pregnancy preventing behaviour & forced/coerced abortion);
•    Interventions addressing RCA
•    Qualitative explorations of RCA across different cultural contexts
•    Studies focused on perpetration of RCA
•    Indigenous peoples’ experiences of RCA
•    LGBTIQ+ people’s experiences of RCA

All articles have undergone the journals full standard peer-review process. More information about the series and the journal, including full aims & scope and Editorial Board, can be found on the journal website. For submission enquiries please contact the Editors at

This Special Issue is now closed to submissions.

Read the blog summarising the research in this Special Issue here.

  1. Reproductive autonomy, or the extent to which people control matters related to their own sexual and reproductive decisions, may help explain why some people who do not intend to become pregnant nevertheless d...

    Authors: Alexandra Wollum, Marta Bornstein, Gladson Mopiwa, Alison Norris and Jessica D. Gipson
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2023 20:142
  2. Reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) is a form of violence that affects sexual and reproductive health. Women and individuals who experienced RCA in an intimate relationship frequently consult service provide...

    Authors: Sylvie Lévesque, Catherine Rousseau, Laurence Raynault-Rioux and Julie Laforest
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2023 20:100
  3. The field of violence prevention research is unequivocal that interventions must target contextual factors, like social norms, to reduce gender-based violence. Limited research, however, on the social norms co...

    Authors: Sabrina C. Boyce, Alexandra M. Minnis, Julianna Deardorff, Sandra I. McCoy, Sneha Challa, Nicole Johns, Sani Aliou, Mohamad Brooks, Abdoul-Moumouni Nouhou, Perman Gochyyev, Mark Wilson, Holly Baker and Jay G. Silverman
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2023 20:90
  4. Reproductive coercion victimization (RCV) is a significant public health issue that negatively affects women’s sexual and reproductive health outcomes. Less is known about reproductive coercion perpetration (R...

    Authors: Danielle M. Campbell, Marguerite B. Lucea, Andrea N. Cimino, Jacquelyn C. Campbell and Jamila K. Stockman
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2023 20:73
  5. Reproductive coercion (RC) is a type of abuse where a partner asserts control over a woman’s reproductive health trajectories. Recent research emphasizes that RC experiences may differ within and across low- a...

    Authors: Shannon N. Wood, Haley L. Thomas, Georges Guiella, Fiacre Bazié, Rosine Mosso, Raimi Fassassi, Pierre Z. Akilimali, Mary Thiongo, Peter Gichangi, Sani Oumarou, Funmilola M. OlaOlorun, Elizabeth Omoluabi, Anoop Khanna, Simon Peter Sebina Kibira, Fredrick Makumbi and Michele R. Decker
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2023 20:22

    The Correction to this article has been published in Reproductive Health 2023 20:54

  6. Reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) is a form of intimate partner violence (IPV) in which people with the capacity for pregnancy experience coercive behaviors that threaten their reproductive autonomy. Behav...

    Authors: Karen Trister Grace and Elizabeth Miller
    Citation: Reproductive Health 2023 20:5