Ky. organization worried about potential abortion ban’s impact on domestic violence victims

Ky. organization worried about potential abortion ban’s impact on domestic violence victims
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 11:43 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky’s abortion ban law, if upheld, could have a lot of impact on a lot of women, including domestic violence victims.

Thursday, a judge issued a ruling to temporarily block Kentucky’s ban on abortions

For now, abortions can continue to be provided, however, advocates at Greenhouse 17 are concerned about what a permanent ban would mean for survivors of intimate partner violence.

Experts explain intimate partner violence is about power and control. Abusers use multiple tactics to maintain and gain power, including reproductive coercion, which is any behavior interfering with the autonomous decision-making of the survivor.

Advocates say those who abuse try to destroy or limit access to birth control or control the outcome of a pregnancy.

Data from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that homicide is the leading cause of death during pregnancy, with pregnant victims killed by a partner.

“It also gives more power to the batterer long-term because, now, you’re having a child with the very person who has maybe sexually assaulted you, physically assaulted you, threatened you, harmed you, and you’re going to have to figure out ways to navigate that and mitigate that for the next eighteen years,” said Darlene Thomas, Exec. Dir. at GreenHouse 17.

Thomas explained that, at this time, there is no way to know the depth of what a permanent abortion ban would mean for survivors of intimate partner violence, but says, based on the information we do know, the lack of choice would put survivors at greater risk of harm.

Looking ahead to what’s next for abortion bans across the nation, President Biden has called on the Senate to make an exception to its filibuster rules, allowing congress to codify abortion protections and privacy rights.

Right now, there don’t appear to be enough votes in the Senate to let that happen.

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