New Report Exposes Critical Link Between Reproductive Autonomy and Survivor Safety

Immediate Release on June 3, 2024
Contact: Gaby Connor, [email protected]

The report, produced by the National Domestic Violence Hotline and If/When/How, includes findings and personal testimony from 3,431 survey respondents who have experienced reproductive coercion and relationship abuse.

reproductive coercion and abuse report coverAUSTIN, TX –Today, the National Domestic Violence Hotline and If/When/How released a new report detailing the prevalence of reproductive coercion, specifically among survivors of domestic violence.

The report provides deeper insights on these experiences as states across the country continue to restrict abortion access and two cases on the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket threaten to further limit reproductive autonomy.

reproductive coercion and abuse report fact


Reproductive coercion is an umbrella term that includes attempts to impregnate a partner against their will, control outcomes of a partner’s pregnancy, interfere with contraceptive methods, and/or coerce or force a partner to have unprotected sex. The Hotline and If/When/How’s report found that since the fall of Roe, reports of reproductive coercion to The Hotline have nearly doubled across the country. 

Of the 3,431 survey respondents, 63% said their current or former partner pressured or forced them to have sex or other sexual activity when they didn’t want to and 39% said their current or former partner threatened them if they said no to sex or other sexual activity. For survivors who have experienced reproductive coercion, 42% said they have never reached out for support.

People experiencing domestic violence navigate a dangerous sea of risks, even when not pregnant or parenting with their abusive partner, making reproductive autonomy critical to survivor safety,” Marium Durrani, Vice President of Policy at the National Domestic Violence Hotline said. “Abortion can be a lifeline for survivors who want or need one, offering them a crucial choice to reclaim control over their bodies, future, and safety.

Through survey data and personal testimony, the report also found that for many survivors, pregnancy can initiate, increase or escalate violence – underscoring the importance of reproductive autonomy to survivor safety. State laws restricting abortion access, or even limiting a pregnant person’s ability to divorce their spouse, are giving abusive partners a powerful and legal tool to harass, control, and coerce survivors into carrying their pregnancies to term.

“No one should have to fear violence from their partner, or the state, when seeking abortion. But since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, our Helpline has seen an increase in callers weighing the risks of their abusive relationship against their access to abortion. Survivors are being forced to walk the line of isolation and safety to get the abortion they need, while minimizing their risks of criminalization and punishment by their abuser–and the state,” said Sara Ainsworth, Senior Legal and Policy Director at If/When/How. “Rather than colluding with abusers in their quest to control and dominate their intimate partners, states should ensure people can live healthy, safe, and free lives. This starts with ending abortion bans and restrictions that empower abusive partners and isolate victims from their communities.”

As the report demonstrates, reproductive coercion is prevalent, dangerous and enabled by state restrictions limiting reproductive autonomy and access to reproductive healthcare. However, intimate partner violence and reproductive coercion are not inevitable outcomes.

“My [former abusive partner] asked me what I would do if I were pregnant, and before I answered, he said he would kill me if I had an abortion,” one survey respondent said. “I didn’t take him seriously at the time, but as I got to know him better, I realized he probably meant it. Luckily, I had good friends and a counselor who helped me see the relationship was unhealthy, and I got out before it was too late.”

More information about the survey, detailed findings and personal testimony can be found in the report, which is available for download here.


The National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) established in 1996, serves those impacted by relationship abuse in the U.S. 24/7 with free and confidential live services provided via phone, chat, and text. The Hotline envisions a world where all relationships are positive, healthy, and free from violence.

If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse in any form, help is available — text START to 88788, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or chat online at You are not alone.

If/When/How is a legal services and advocacy organization that represents people in crisis, reshapes the law, and builds a network of lawyers working for reproductive justice. If/When/How’s Repro Legal Helpline provides free, confidential legal services for your reproductive life, including abortion, pregnancy loss, and birth. Learn more at