The Relationship of Abortion and Violence Against Women: Violence Prevention Strategies and Research Needs

Issues Law Med. Autumn 2015;30(2):111-27.


From the perspective of peace psychology, the role of abortion in acts of violence against women is explored, with a focus on violence-prevention strategies. Setting aside the political debate, this task force report takes the conflict-transformation approach of considering all perspectives that have concern for the right of women to avoid being victims of violence. The evidence that victims of Intimate Partner Violence are disproportionately represented in women presenting for abortion suggests a need for screening at clinics. Coerced abortion is a form of violence and has occurred by government policy in China and as a result of other violence against women: sex trafficking and war situations. Sex-selection abortion of female fetuses, referred to as "gendercide," has reached pandemic proportions and caused a gender imbalance in some countries. Psychology, through empirical research, can make unique contributions to understanding the relationship between abortion and violence and in developing prevention strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced*
  • Coercion*
  • Female
  • Human Trafficking
  • Humans
  • Policy Making
  • Pregnancy
  • Violence* / prevention & control
  • Warfare
  • Women's Rights
  • Women*