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Islamic State Force Feeds Women Birth Control to Keep Them in Bondage

The Islamic State is feeding female prisoners birth control without their knowledge, or consent. The contraception initiative is an effort to bypass an obscure ruling in Islamic Law that says “a man must ensure that the woman he enslaves is free of child before having intercourse with her.”

In December of last year Reuters reported on released Islamic State documents that outline the appropriate treatment of slaves. A booklet titled “From Creator’s Rulings on Capturing Prisoners and Enslavement,” grounds the “rules” on enslaving women seized from vanquished “infidels” in Islamic law.

A New York Times interview featuring three-dozen Yazidi women who escaped capture told a harrowing story of rape, deception and fear of female sexuality. One girl who was sold seven times recalled her captors forcing her to swallow a mystery pill daily:

“Every day, I had to swallow one in front of him. He gave me one box per month. When I ran out, he replaced it. When I was sold from one man to another, the box of pills came with me…”

An estimated 5,000 Yazidi men and women were captured by militants in the summer of 2014, and of those around 2,000 have managed to escape. Although many of the women are relieved that they will not bear the children of their captors, a few found liberation in pregnancy. One woman seized on her pregnancy as an opportunity for escape. Her captor urged her to have an abortion, but was too scared to ask a doctor for one himself. She was able to escape out of Islamic State territory when he left her alone, and gave birth two months after reuniting with her family.

 

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