Ian Somerhalder Contraception Controversy

Why is Reproductive Coercion Hitting the Headlines?


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Most people will probably know Nikki Reed and Ian Somerhalder due to their on-screen vampire alter egos from the widely popular The Twilight Saga and The Vampire Diaries series.  In more recent times though, the couple have been hitting headlines for more controversial reasons, after Somerhalder revealed his wife fell pregnant after he threw out her birth control pills.

The married couple took part in an interview for the Doctor Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy podcast, but a lot of what they shared has not been received well.  When asked when they decided it was the right time for them to have children (they welcomed their first daughter, Bodhi Soleil, in July), Nikki exclaimed that it was when her husband threw out all her birth control pills, which she described as “presumptuous.”  Somerhalder then went on to tell his side of the story, which he presumably thought would be received as humorous.

He states during the interview: “But unbeknownst to poor Nikki, she didn’t realise that I was going to go in her purse and take out her birth control.  By the way, it was the beginning of the pack, so I had to pop all those suckers out.  It is a lot of work, especially after a little bit of sangria.”  This is followed by the revelation that he also has a six-minute video (which Reed also didn’t know about) of his wife “freaking out” over the fact he flushed her birth control pills down the toilet whilst they were on holiday with friends in Barcelona.  It appears that Somerhalder took control in what should have been a mutual decision, even though it would not be him who would have to ultimately share his body with a baby for nine months. 

It is never okay to interfere with someone’s method of birth control, no matter how you may be related to them.  Since the podcast was released – and since deleted - many people have actively been expressing their anger towards the interview on social media.  The couple’s story has been largely described as insensitive and viewed as a case of reproductive coercion, which is currently a horrible reality for many women in abusive and manipulative relationships.   

As seen below, the couple have since released a public apology for the controversy, and highlighted that they are glad that it has started a conversation about reproductive coercion, but never intended for their comments to be received the way they were. 

Image: Twitter (@NikkiReed_I_Am)