Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Pregnancy and femicide

The compulsory pregnancy crowd, also known as the fetus-fetishizers and anti-choice criminalizers, rarely if ever consider that this condition can be a factor in precipitating femicide.

Stephen Hart, a psychology professor at Simon Fraser University and an expert in psychopathic behaviour, has worked with the B.C. Institute Against Family Violence to look into spousal homicides in the province. Hart said that only about one-third to one-half of the relationships he studied showed a “pattern of escalating violence”. Another subsection of men showed a pattern of violence “across relationships”, while another one-third of cases showed no prior warning of violent intent. But here, men may have been triggered by a stress factor, which can include pregnancy.

Rosemary Gartner is a University of Toronto sociology professor has done extensive research and authored many studies and reports about femicide. There are a couple of issues around pregnancy,” Gartner said. “One is that some men respond to pregnancy with fear and trepidation—it means both a financial and emotional commitment to both the woman and the child. Another part has to do with the man [falsely] believing she is leaving him or that she has been unfaithful to him. Sometimes men question the paternity of the pregnancy.”

Hart agreed with Gartner that pregnancy is a “real risk factor”. “In the United States, the homicide of the mother is one of the major causes of prenatal mortality,” Hart said.

Information available here indicates that homicide is a leading cause of traumatic death for pregnant and postpartum women in the United States, accounting for 31 percent of maternal injury deaths. Also, women with unplanned pregnancies have a two to four times greater risk of suffering violence from their husbands or partners than women whose pregnancies were planned.

Although funding has been returned to Status of Women Canada, with the anti-feminist bias of “Canada’s New Government” visibly on display, what’s the possibility that any ongoing research into the prevention of femicide will be supported? Certainly not, if it challenges the half-truths and disinformation provided by groups such as the REAL-ly fundamentalist women.

(This particular entry is not meant as parody. There are times when it’s difficult to find humour in the unconscionable cruelty of those who claim to champion the pre-born (their terminology) as though their cause were exempt from the realities that women experience, pregnant or not.)
First posted at Birth Pangs.

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