ACOG Wants Doctors to Screen for “Reproductive Coercion”

National   |   Wesley J. Smith   |   Feb 1, 2013   |   5:03PM   |   Washington, DC

Is there no end to the medicalization of human problems? Now, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists wants doctors to screen women for “reproductive coercion.” From the Washington Post story:

When a husband hides a wife’s birth control pills or a boyfriend takes off a condom in the middle of sex in hopes of getting an unwilling girlfriend pregnant, that’s a form of abuse called “reproductive coercion.” While researchers don’t know exactly how common such coercion is, it’s common enough — especially among women who are abused by their partners in other ways — that health care providers should screen women for signs at regular check-ups and pregnancy visits, says the nation’s leading group of obstetricians and gynecologists.

“We want to make sure that health care providers are aware that this is something that does go on and that it’s a form of abuse,” said Veronica Gillispie, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, and a member of the committee that wrote the opinion for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in the February issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Well, reproductive coercion is a two-way street. As Bioedge notes, NPR has reported that about twice as many women engage in RC (8.7%) as men (4.8%).

Reproductive coercion is wrong no matter who does it, of course. But why do I think this is part of a larger overarching ideological agenda to intrude the technocracy into every area of American life–and most particularly, those of women. I mean, for all the talk about how powerful women now are, the technocracy clearly views many as helpless.



How long do you think it will be before this issue becomes part of the Obamacare leviathan? The Free Birth Control Rule already requires that employers provide health insurance that covers free domestic violence screening for women. I can’t imagine it will take long before screening against reproductive coercion is added to the list–all consistent with an agenda I am beginning to see that would expand the purpose of the healthcare system to become a guarantor of “happiness.” Or, as I call it, Happy Face Statism.

And I note that the College seems to have little to say about another form of “reproductive coercion;” men, parents, grandparents, friends, and relatives pushing women into unwanted abortions. You can bet Obamacare will never require screening against that as the HHS drives toward an eventual Free Abortion Rule. Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. Excerpted from his A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement (Encounter, 2010). This post originally appeared at First Things, the location of his blog Secondhand Smoke.