The Guttmacher Institute Redefines ‘Violence Against Women’

The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) is at it again.

For those not familiar with AGI, it is a $30-million-a-year research group based in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Named for Alan Guttmacher, former president of Planned Parenthood, the mission of the organization is to “advance sexual and reproductive health” around the world. This makes sense, since it was founded in 1968 as the research arm of the largest chain of abortion mills in the United States, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), which currently carries out more than 300,000 abortions annually.

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In other words, a person who believes in AGI’s impartiality on abortion will be the kind of person who believes in the Tobacco Institute’s impartiality about the harmful effects of cigarettes. However, without the slightest admission of conflict of interest, AGI churns out dozens of reports every year supporting unlimited access to abortion.

Its most recent effort — “Male Reproductive Control of Women Who Have Experienced Intimate Partner Violence in the United States” — attempts to demonstrate that “male reproductive control — which takes place when a woman’s partner imposes his reproductive intentions on her through intimidation, threats or actual violence — occurs among women who have experienced intimate partner violence.” The report tries to show that women who have experienced intimate partner violence consistently have poor sexual and reproductive health (SRH). SRH is generally defined as access to contraception, sterilization, and abortion without impediment. “Intimate partners” are guilty of “reproductive control” when they impede women’s access to SRH in any way, shape, or form.

You can probably see where all of this is leading.

The report claims that a man is guilty of unwarranted “reproductive control” if he is “not giving the woman money to buy contraception or obtain an abortion.” “Coercion” includes “if a man wanted a woman to get pregnant.”

By AGI definitions, then, a man can only avoid being labeled a “reproductive controller” if he never expresses any opinion whatsoever as to whether he wants a child and lets the woman make all of the decisions without his input — in other words, the radical feminist’s ideal man. Of course, this “ideal man” must also keep his mouth shut when paying for all of her reproductive decisions without question, whether it be footing the bill for an abortion (even if he is pro-life) or paying for however many children the woman wants to bear.

Naturally, AGI does not mention any cases where a woman might be found guilty of “reproductive control.” What if she gets an abortion over the man’s objections? What if she sleeps with a man, lies about being on the birth control pill, and then has a child that she demands child support for?

As always, the pro-choice mindset is blind to inequality committed against men. This follows from the strange idea that men and women are entirely separate and autonomous entities, able to make important decisions without the slightest concern for whatever consequences may befall the other partner or the relationship itself. As the AGI report says, “We posit that it is ideal for women to have reproductive autonomy which we use to mean a woman’s ability to make independent decisions about her reproduction.”

To its credit, the AGI report states that “reproductive control” also includes “perpetuating violence against [a woman] in order to cause a miscarriage or kill the fetus.” The report mentions this type of violence several times, but the overwhelming emphasis of the study consists of condemning men who want to impede women from having abortions. Ann Moore, senior research associate at AGI and lead author of the study, even says, “We believe that reproductive control is, itself, a form of intimate partner violence, and one worthy of public health attention.”

Got that? If you are a man who has any opinions at all about your wife’s (or girlfriend’s) reproductive life, you are a “reproductive controller” and therefore guilty of domestic violence.

This is a theme pro-abortionists have been pushing hard
over the last decade.

I have done years of research on abortion-related violence and have encountered hundreds of cases where men committed violence against women in connection with their decisions to have or not have abortions. Based on all available research between 1973 to the present, there is exactly one case where a woman was murdered for having an abortion, and more than one hundred documented cases where a woman was murdered or beaten so badly she miscarried for refusing an abortion. These atrocities are documented at

All such instances, however, are ignored by AGI in its supposedly thorough report. They have a story to tell, after all, and men hurting women who refuse to have abortions doesn’t fit their narrative. AGI researchers are very good at drawing subtle connections between trends that have little or nothing to do with each other, while at the same time ignoring strong connections that undermine the “pro-choice” philosophy or the drive for population control.

The AGI study relies heavily on several analyses of violence against women conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations. Interestingly, not one of these WHO studies mentions forced abortions or any other kind of violence against women who do not want to abort. This may be related to the fact that the United Nations Population Fund, one of WHO’s sister agencies, pioneered, helped implement, and actively supports the Chinese forced-abortion program.

Perhaps AGI can explain why it is “violence” to force a woman to have an abortion in the United States, but it is not “violence” to force millions of Chinese women to have abortions, often in the last trimester.

Part of the Guttmacher Institute’s stated mission is to “encourage enlightened public debate.” If it is serious about this goal, it should at least attempt to examine all sides of the issue. 


  • Brian Clowes

    Brian Clowes is a graduate of West Point, a former A-Team leader for the Army Special Forces (“Green Berets”), and holds a PhD in Civil Engineering and Systems Science. Since 1995, he has been Human Life International’s Director of Research and Training worldwide, and is one of the most accomplished and respected intellectuals in the international pro-life movement. Perhaps best known for his Pro-Life Basic Training Course, Brian is the author of nine books, over 90 scholarly and popular articles, and has traveled to 35 countries on five continents as a pro-life speaker, educator and trainer. Perhaps most importantly, Brian authored the report which helped sway legislators in the 2001 defunding of the UNFPA by the Bush administration. Brian and his wife, Kathleen, have seven children and combined have over 50 years of pro-life experience, ranging from rescues and sidewalk counseling to counseling pregnant women and assisting in litigation against abortionists.

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