Indianapolis, Indiana, 7.6.2022 – Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Inc.
The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) is a member organization comprised of over 100 agencies, partners and individuals working to support and serve the thousands of domestic violence survivors living across the state of Indiana. ICADV is gravely concerned about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the constitutional right to an abortion, after almost 50 years of reproductive rights for women – and worries about the impact Indiana legislators’ actions will have on Hoosier survivors. We stand for reproductive rights because reproductive abuse and coercion are tools of violence many abusers use to weaponize a partner’s bodily autonomy and reproductive choices to maintain domestic violence relationships.
Survivors tell us about their experiences of sexual abuse, reproductive coercion and birth control sabotage. Recently, a mother of four who was pregnant with her fifth child told us about her experiences of reproductive coercion. She told us about the violence she had suffered at the hands of her abuser, and that she wasn’t allowed to work so that she could take care of their children. she said her husband didn’t believe in birth control and would not let her get any. One of the reasons she had stayed was the futility of it all; knowing she had no control over her own body, knowing she could not take care of the children alone, and knowing the system was against her at every turn.
ICADV calls on Indiana legislators to consider all survivors, especially survivors of rape and incest, in their response to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. Abortion services are essential to healthcare and having equal access is vital to survivors’ social and economic participation, reproductive autonomy, and the right to determine their own lives. State bans and restrictions will be devastating for low-income survivors, survivors of color, survivors with disabilities, and others who already face substantial barriers to accessing the healthcare they need.
For domestic violence survivors, abortion access is a matter of safety. Reproductive justice is a necessary component of gender equality and racial justice. It can only be achieved when all people have the social, political, and economic power to make decisions about their own health, bodies, and sexuality. Again, we ask Indiana legislators to consider all survivors, especially survivors of rape and incest documented by a healthcare provider, in their response to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.