The horrendous acts perpetrated by the terrorist group ISIS are well known. It’s also well known that there isn’t much they won’t do to get what they want. This seems to extend even further than anticipated, according to a recent report that states that ISIS fighters are forcing birth control on Yazidi women they’ve captured in order to maintain their supply of sex slaves and keep their cruel sex trade in business.
According to a new report in the New York Times published on Saturday, three dozen escaped Yazidi women agreed to be interviewed about being forced to take birth control — either in pill form, or injection, sometimes both — by ISIS fighters. The reason for the forced birth control, the report says, is due to an obscure law cited by ISIS extremists that says a man may have sex with his female slave as long as she is not pregnant. In order to ensure the young women do not become pregnant while they are repeatedly raped and passed between the fighters, the ISIS operatives either force feed them birth control pills; inject them with the Depo-Provera shot, an injectable contraceptive; send them to hospitals to receive the shot; or, in some cases, force both forms of birth control on them.
A 16-year-old girl, going only by the initial M, spoke with the New York Times about her time in captivity, and how she had become conditioned to fear nightfall, because it meant she would soon be raped again. What she feared most, however, was becoming pregnant with her abuser’s child. Unbeknownst to her, the ISIS soldier had already made sure that wouldn’t happen. Not long after the ISIS fighter bought M, he brought her a box of birth control pills — though she didn’t know that was what they were — and forced her to take one every day.
“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 came with me.”
M’s story is similar to the other countless women who have been captured by ISIS and sold into their sex trade, all of whom describe being forced to take some form of birth control. Some of the women even recounted that they knew when they were going to be sold to another ISIS fighter, because they were brought to the hospital to do a urine test to prove they were not pregnant, the results of which they described as a double-edged sword. If the test came back positive, it would mean they were carrying their abuser’s child. If it came back negative, it would mean they would continue to be raped.
Even the small minority of women who did end up becoming pregnant at the hands of their rapists weren’t free from harm. At least one woman was forced to get an abortion so ISIS operatives could continue to rape her, while others described how they were pressured to get abortions, even being force-fed a version of the morning-after pill. According to International Business Times, this carefully planned-out birth control coercion accounts for the extremely low percentage of pregnancy rates in the over 700 captured Yazidi women who have been treated at a U.N.-backed clinic in northern Iraq. Gynaecologists at the clinic reported that just 5 percent of those treated became pregnant while held in captivity by ISIS fighters, an incredibly low percentage, considering the young age at which most of these women were captured, and the fact that they were raped on a daily basis, usually by more than one ISIS member.
Forcing birth control on young female captives in order to continue “legally” raping them is just another way the terrorist group ISIS proves to the rest of the world that their depravity and perversion knows no bounds.
[AP Photo/Seivan M.Salim]