Abortion after Rape

Abortion after Rape

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Abortion after 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

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 their abortion bills. Some bills limit abortion to the period before a fetal heartbeat can be detected, at six weeks, the so-called Heartbeat Bills. Sometimes an exception for rape cases is included in the bill.

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

South Africa:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 20 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 12 Weeks

Cambodia:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • No Limit
  • Regular Limit:
    • 12 Weeks

Thailand:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 20 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 12 Weeks

Australian Capital Territory:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • No Limit
  • Regular Limit:
    • No Limit

New South Wales:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 22 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 22 Weeks

Northern Territory:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 22 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 14 Weeks

Queensland:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 22 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 22 Weeks

South Australia:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 28 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 28 Weeks

Tasmania:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 16 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 16 Weeks

Victoria:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 24 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 24 Weeks

Western Australia:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 20 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 20 Weeks

New Zealand:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 20 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 20 Weeks

Austria:

Germany:

Great Britain:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 12 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 12 Weeks

Italy:

Portugal:

Republic of Ireland:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 12 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 12 Weeks

Netherlands:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 24 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 24 Weeks

Northern Ireland:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • 12 Weeks
  • Regular Limit:
    • 12 Weeks

Switzerland:

Canada:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • No Limit
  • Regular Limit:
    • No Limit

Mexico:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • No Limit
  • Regular Limit:
    • No Limit

USA:

  • Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest:
    • The gestational limit for rape or incest is usually identical to general gestational limits in states with board abortion parameters.
  • Regular Limit:
  • Alabama:
    • Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest:
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Alaska
    • Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Unlimited
    • Regular Limit
      • No Gestational Limit
  • Arizona
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Arkansas
    • Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • California
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • Viability (24 Weeks)
  • Colorado
    • Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Unlimited
    • Regular Limit
      • No Gestational Limit
  • Connecticut
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks (Viability)
  • Delaware
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 20 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 20 Weeks
  • Florida
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • 15 Weeks
  • Georgia
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Rape Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • 6 Weeks
  • Hawaii
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • Viability
  • Idaho
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Rape Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Illinois
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks
  • Indiana
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 22 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 22 Weeks
  • Iowa
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Undetermined
    • Regular Limit
      • 6 Weeks
  • Kansas
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 20 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 20 Weeks
  • Kentucky
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Louisiana
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Maine
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks (Viability)
  • Maryland
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks (Viability)
  • Massachusetts
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks
  • Michigan
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks (Viability)
  • Minnesota
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks (Viability)
  • Mississippi
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Rape Exemption, No Incest Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Missouri
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Montana
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks (Viability)
  • Nebraska
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 22 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 22 Weeks
  • Nevada
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks
  • New Hampshire
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks
  • New Jersey
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Unlimited
    • Regular Limit
      • No Gestational Limit
  • New Mexico
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Unlimited
    • Regular Limit
      • No Gestational Limit
  • New York
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks (Viability)
  • North Carolina
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks (Viability)
  • North Dakota
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Rape Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Ohio
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • 6 Weeks
  • Oklahoma
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Oregon
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Unlimited
    • Regular Limit
      • No Gestational Limit
  • Pennsylvania
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks
  • Rhode Island
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks
  • South Carolina
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Rape Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • 6 Weeks
  • South Dakota
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Tennessee
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Texas
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Utah
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Rape Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Vermont
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Unlimited
    • Regular Limit
      • No Gestational Limit
  • Virginia
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 28 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • First Two Trimesters (28 Weeks)
  • Washington
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • 24 Weeks
    • Regular Limit
      • 24 Weeks (Viability)
  • District of Columbia
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Unlimited
    • Regular Limit
      • No Gestational Limit
  • West Virginia
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Wisconsin
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • No Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited
  • Wyoming
    • ​​​​​​​Gestational Limit for Rape and Incest
      • Rape Exemption
    • Regular Limit
      • Prohibited

Brazil:

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 32 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 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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Disclaimer:

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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