Rape Exemption: Abortion after Rape or Incest

Abortion after Rape

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Can I Get an Abortion Exception for Rape?

  • In some regions, rape exemptions are made, which extend the gestational limit or provide government funding for an abortion.
  • Pregnancy is a common fear after rape, but only about 5% of sexual assaults result in pregnancy.
  • Any sexual violence involving penetration constitutes rape.

You can find more information on abortion exemptions for rape here.

➡️ Are you pregnant as a result of sexual violence? Support and options

⚖️ Wondering whether to have an abortion? Take the Abortion Test

What Constitutes Rape?

There are two kinds of rape: forcible rape and statutory rape. Abortion exemptions usually only apply in cases of forcible rape.

Forcible Rape:

Forcible rape includes any sexual violence involving penetration. This includes:

  • Forced penetration by a stranger, acquaintance, or (ex)partner using threats or violence
  • Being drugged to prevent resistance
  • The sexual abuse of a child by a family member or friend

Statutory Rape:

If partners engage in sexual intercourse, but the woman is under the age of consent, it is considered statutory rape. If the woman conceives, abortion exemptions usually do not apply. Internationally, the age of consent ranges from 12 to 20. Most countries set 16 or 17 as the age of consent. This is where you can find the age of consent worldwide and for each US state.

What Are the Exemptions in Case of Rape?

In many regions, laws make accommodations for pregnant survivors of sexual assault by legalizing abortions in cases of rape, extending gestational limits for abortion, or covering abortion expenses. Countries that allow elective abortion may not give an extension for rape since women already have access to abortion without a specific cause.

1. Legalized Abortion in Cases of Rape

Abortion is permitted in most countries when conception occurs through rape. Where abortion bans are in place, these are often dropped. Sometimes sexual assault is not mentioned explicitly in these exemptions. Instead, it is included under the broader umbrella of “abortion on mental health grounds.”

2. Extension of Gestational Limits

Abortion bills differ from region to region. Some bills ban abortion or limit them to the first six weeks — until a fetal heartbeat can be detected (Heartbeat Bill). Sometimes an exception for rape cases is included in these bills.

Examples of countries that extend their abortion limits are Albania, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ghana, Israel, Poland, and individual US states.

Find out whether your region extends the window of legal abortions in cases of rape:

  • RegionRegular LimitRape
    Arizona15 weeks15 weeks
    Florida6 weeksextended
    Georgia6 weeksextended
    Indianabanned14 weeks if under 16; 10 weeks if 16 or older
    Iowa22 weeks22 weeks
    Kansas22 weeks22 weeks
    Massachus24 weeks24 weeks
    Michigan24 weeks24 weeks
    Nebraska12 weeks12 weeks
    Nevada24 weeks24 weeks
    N. Hampsh.24 weeks24 weeks
    New Jerseyunlimitedunlimited
    N. Mexicounlimitedunlimited
    New Yorkviability viability
    N. Carolina12 weeks12 weeks
    N. Dakotabanned6 weeks
    Ohio22 weeks22 weeks
    Oklahomabanned banned
    Pennsylvania24 weeks24 weeks
    Rhode Islandviabilityviability
    S. Carolina6 weekspermitted
    S. Dakota bannedbanned
    Utah18 weeks18 weeks
    Wash. DCunlimitedunlimited
    W. Virginiabannedbanned
    Wyoming viabilityviability

  • Region Regular Limit Rape
    Great Britain 24 weeks 24 weeks
    N. Ireland 24 weeks 24 weeks
    Ireland 12 weeks 12 weeks

  • Region Regular Limit Rape
    ACT unlimited unlimited
    NSW 22 weeks 22 weeks
    NT 14 weeks 23 weeks
    QLD 22 weeks 22 weeks
    SA (2022) 22 w +6d 22 w +6d
    TAS 16 weeks 16 weeks
    VIC 24 weeks 24 weeks
    WA 20 weeks 20 weeks

  • While abortion is unrestricted throughout Canada, availability differs from state to state.

    RegionRegular LimitRape
    AB20 weeks
    BC24w + 6d
    MB16 weeks
    NB16 weeks
    NL16 weeks
    NT20 weeks
    NS16 weeks
    PEI12 weeks
    NU19w + 6d
    ON23w + 6d
    QC24 weeks
    SK18w + 6d
    YT12w + 6d

  • Region Regular Limit Rape
    New Zealand 20 weeks unlimited
    South Africa 13 weeks 20 weeks

  • Region Regular Limit Rape
    Austria See our Austrian Page
    Brazil See our Portuguese Page
    Cambodia 12 weeks unlimited
    Germany See our German Page
    Italy See our Italian Page
    Mexico 15 weeks unlimited
    Netherlands 24 weeks unlimited
    Portugal See our Portuguese Page
    Switzerland See our Swiss Page
    Thailand 12 weeks 20 weeks

3. Coverage of Abortion Expenses

In regions where abortions are not covered by public healthcare, funds are sometimes made available to help women pay for rape-related abortions. This is the case in the following 20 US states if the woman can fulfill the state’s reporting requirements:

  • C: Colorado

    D: Delaware, District of Columbia

    G: Georgia

    I: Idaho, Indiana, Iowa

    K: Kansas

    M: Mississippi

    N: Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota

    P: Pennsylvania

    R: Rhode Island

    S: South Carolina

    U: Utah

    V: Virginia

    W: Wyoming

Rape Exemption Requirements

Each region has a different process for establishing conception through rape as the reason for an abortion. The woman usually must fulfill requirements such as reporting or providing evidence of the sexual violence she has experienced. This ranges from receiving an affidavit from a doctor to filing a police report or undergoing a rape kit examination.

This often requires the victim to seek medical attention or police jurisdiction within days of the event, which takes a lot of courage.

When You Have Experienced Sexual Violence

Rape is one of the most traumatic and devastating intrusions imaginable into a woman’s physical body, as well as her very being. From the outside, it would be impossible to grasp the full scope of pain inflicted.

You might ask yourself how to go on. You fear that you might be pregnant or just found out about the pregnancy. Are you wondering what the best course of action would be for you? Are you wondering about what a rape examination entails?

  • 🙌 Go to Pregnant from Rape for resources on where to go for immediate support or safety.

In addition to seeking immediate medical attention, you may find it helpful to receive support and professional counseling. You don’t have to go through this alone!

For more information, go to:

Not ready to talk about it? Our free digital coaching is tailored to your specific situation! Use our judgment-free resources to find a way to rebuild, grow, and heal.

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Our goal at Profemina is to provide you with the most up-to-date information. Since abortion regulations are varied and constantly changing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content we provide.

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