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Embrace to continue to offer resources to domestic and sexual violence survivors dealing with unwanted pregnancies


Domestic violence victim advocates fear there could be a rise in more violent and deadly abuse or more people stuck with their abusers after the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

An unplanned pregnancy in an abusive relationship can add stress and lead to more severe abuse.

Murder is the most common cause of death for pregnant women, usually at the hands of their significant other.

Domestic violence survivor advocates fear those deaths or other extreme violence may become more common now that abortion rights are no longer guaranteed under federal law.

But they also fear another consequence of women not having access to safe, legal abortions.

Brittny Olson is a lead domestic violence coordinator for Embrace. She says abusers will sometimes force or manipulate their partner into getting pregnant.

“Then that can be used be used as another form of manipulation and control because now you have this child together. You’re going to be connected really for life with that person,” said Olson.

Nearly 20% of women experience domestic violence during pregnancy.

Embrace, which serves sexual and domestic abuse survivors in Price, Washburn, Rusk and Barron counties, believes that access to safe, legal abortions, and reproductive health services are rights every human deserves.

It fears what this decision will mean for survivors, especially people of color and those in the LGBTQ+ community who have always had disproportionate access to abortion services.

At the same time, Olson says the Supreme Court decision doesn’t change a whole lot about how Embrace operates.

“We’re very upset about the decision, but also, we recognize that access to abortion was really limited even before this decision. It does change a lot, but in other way it doesn’t change a lot because we’ve been struggling with access for years,” she said.

Embrace advocates are available 24/7 to talk people experiencing an unwanted pregnancy through their options.

“We want survivors to know that no matter what we are going to be here to try to help them access those resources and go through their options,” said Olson.

People can call or text the Embrace helpline at 715-532-6976 for help with any domestic and sexual abuse situation. You can also find information on Embrace’s website.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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