Rape Exemption: Abortion after Rape

Abortion after Rape

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Can I Get an Abortion Exception for Rape?

  • Any sexual violence involving intercourse constitutes rape, including the abuse of a child by a family member, the coercion of a teenager by an older man, being drugged to prevent resistance, or forced penetration by a stranger or partner.
  • 5% of sexual assaults result in pregnancy. Approximately 50% of rape-related pregnancies are terminated.
  • In some regions, exemptions are made for victims of rape which extend the gestational limit or provide government funding for an abortion.

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

➡️ Are you a victim 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 intercourse. This includes:

  • the sexual abuse of a child by a family member or friend
  • being drugged for sexual intercourse
  • being forced by a stranger or partner

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 for Rape Victims?

In many regions, laws make accommodations for pregnant rape victims by legalizing abortions in cases of rape, extending gestational limits for abortion, or covering abortion expenses. Countries that allow elective abortion may not have an extension for rape victims, 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 in the case of rape. Sometimes rape is not mentioned explicitly in these exemptions. Instead, it is included under the broader umbrella of “abortion on mental health grounds.”

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

2. Extension of Gestational Limits

Increasingly, individual states are introducing abortion bills. 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.

Find out whether your region extends the window of legal abortions for rape victims:

  • Region Regular Limit Rape
    Alabama banned banned
    Alaska unlimited unlimited
    Arizona 15 weeks 15 weeks
    Arkansas banned banned
    California viability viability
    Colorado unlimited unlimited
    Cennecticut viability viability
    Delaware viability viability
    Florida 15 weeks 15 weeks
    Georgia 6 weeks extended
    Hawaii viability viability
    Idaho banned permitted
    Illinois viability viability
    Indiana banned 14 weeks if under 16; 10 weeks if 16 or older
    Iowa 22 weeks 22 weeks
    Kansas 22 weeks 22 weeks
    Kentucky banned banned
    Louisiana banned banned
    Maine viability viability
    Maryland viability viability
    Massachus 24 weeks 24 weeks
    Michigan 24 weeks 24 weeks
    Minnesota viability viability
    Mississippi banned permitted
    Missouri banned banned
    Montana viability viability
    Nebraska 12 weeks 12 weeks
    Nevada 24 weeks 24 weeks
    N. Hampsh. 24 weeks 24 weeks
    New Jersey unlimited unlimited
    N. Mexico unlimited unlimited
    New York viability viability
    N. Carolina 12 weeks 12 weeks
    N. Dakota banned 6 weeks
    Ohio 22 weeks 22 weeks
    Oklahoma banned banned
    Oregon unlimited unlimited
    Pennsylvania 24 weeks 24 weeks
    Rhode Island viability viability
    S. Carolina 6 weeks permitted
    S. Dakota banned banned
    Tennessee banned banned
    Texas banned banned
    Utah 18 weeks 18 weeks
    Vermont unlimited unlimited
    Virginia 26w+6d 26w+6d
    Washington viability viability
    Wash. DC unlimited unlimited
    W. Virginia banned banned
    Wisconsin banned banned
    Wyoming viability viability

  • 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.


    Regular Limit Rape
    Canada unlimited unlimited
    AB 20 weeks
    BC 24w + 6d
    MB 16 weeks
    NB 16 weeks
    NL 16 weeks
    NT 20 weeks
    NS 16 weeks
    PEI 12 weeks
    NU 19w + 6d
    ON 23w + 6d
    QC 24 weeks
    SK 18w + 6d
    YT 12w + 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

How Do You Get an Exemption for Rape?

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 a simple affidavit from a doctor to filing a police report or enduring a rape kit examination.

This can be harrowing and often requires the victim to seek medical attention or police jurisdiction within days of the event. Even then, exemptions are not guaranteed. Therefore, many women are deterred from applying for an exemption.

When You Are the Victim

Rape is probably one of the most traumatic and devastating intrusion 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 you can possibly rebuild your shattered world. 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?

  • 🙌 Go to Pregnant from Rape for resources on where to go for immediate support or safety. Read the stories of other women who have walked this road.

In addition to seeking 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? We’ve got your back! 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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