Opinion: Narcissists Control Women by Restricting Access to Reproductive Health Care

Walter Rhein

Image courtesy of Walter Rhein

The first tactic that narcissists use to control people is to limit access to money. Narcissists do not want their victims to have the ability to leave them. Money is the first strategy they use but it is not the most powerful.

Restricting access to reproductive health care is the ultimate form of control. If you read survival stories of women who were involved with narcissists, a common pattern emerges. First, the narcissist requires that the woman quits her job. Second, the narcissist gets the victim pregnant.

It is much easier to escape a narcissist when their only mechanism of control is money. Even if you have nothing, it’s still possible to seek help at a local shelter or from family.

Once you have a child with a narcissist, it becomes almost impossible to cut the narcissist out of your life. Even abusive people maintain legal rights. You can fight these rights in court, but it will take time and money.

Body autonomy is one of the most important concepts of a free nation. Women must know that even if they are married to somebody, they ultimately have the right to decide whether or not they wish to get pregnant.

Narcissists break down body autonomy by insisting that they get to make all the choices about another person’s body. They are also very good at leveraging legal institutions to give them more power and authority.

Fortunately, there are survivor stories about women who have managed to escape the controlling behavior of a narcissist even after having children. It is possible. However, narcissists never quit and they have no reservations about using children against their mother.

One of the best ways our society can ensure that fewer women become the victims of narcissists is to fight to remove all restrictions on any form of reproductive health care. We have a healthier society when women have access to birth control and have the ability to discuss their bodies with doctors.

Narcissists want control because of their insecurity and cowardice. They’ll try to disguise these attributes by claiming they are motivated by more noble aspirations. If a person is limiting access to money or reproductive health care, their only objective is to control.

The problem with narcissists is that they don’t base their demands on scientific research. If a woman turns over her body autonomy to a narcissist, he is unlikely to make the healthiest choices. The focus for the narcissist is control, not health. A narcissist that restricts access to prenatal care prevents the mother from attending to the developing baby’s health.

When the focus is control, it leads to a preventable loss of health. Sometimes abused women lose their babies because of the narcissist’s interference.

When society understands that women have a right to complete body autonomy, it leads to better homes and healthier children.

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Walter Rhein is an author with Perseid Press. He also does a weekly column for The Writing Cooperative on Medium.

Chippewa Falls, WI

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