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 the 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. 


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 specific cause. 

1. Legalized Abortion in Cases of Rape 

Abortion is permitted in most countries when conception occurred through rape. Where abortion bans are in place, these are often dropped in the case of rape.  Oftentimes rape is not specifically mentioned in these exemptions. Rather, it is included under the broader umbrella of “abortion on mental-health grounds”. Examples for countries who extend their abortion limits for rape-victims are Albania, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ghana, Israel, and Poland. 

2. Extension of Gestational Limits 

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

Region Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest Regular Limit
South Africa 20 Weeks 12 Weeks


Region Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest Regular Limit
Cambodia No Limit 12 Weeks
Thailand 20 Weeks 12 Weeks


Region Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest Regular Limit
ACT No Limit No Limit
NSW 22 Weeks 22 Weeks
NT 22 Weeks 14 Weeks
QLD 22 Weeks 22 Weeks
SA 28 Weeks 28 Weeks
TAS 16 Weeks 16 Weeks
VIC 24 Weeks 24 Weeks
WA 20 Weeks 20 Weeks
New Zealand 20 Weeks 20 Weeks


Region Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest Regular Limit
Austria See our Austrian page See our Austrian page
Germany See our German page See our German page
Great Britain 12 Weeks 12 Weeks
Italy See our Italian page See our Italian page
Portugal See our Portuguese page See our Portuguese page
Republic Of Ireland 12 Weeks 12 Weeks
Netherlands 24 Weeks 24 Weeks
Northern Ireland 12 Weeks 12 Weeks
Switzerland See our Swiss page See our Swiss page


Region Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest Regular
Canada No Limit No Limit
Mexico No Limit No Limit
USA Gestational limit for rape or incest usually identical to general gestational limits. See our US page




Region Gestational Limit for Rape or Incest Regular Limit
Brazil See our Portuguese page See our Portuguese page



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:  

Alabama Indiana Nebraska Rhode Island
Arizona Iowa Nevada South Carolina
Colorado Kansas New Hampshire Tennessee
Delaware Kentucky North Carolina Utah
District of Columbia Louisiana North Dakota Virginia
Florida Michigan Ohio West Virginia
Georgia Mississippi Oklahoma Wisconsin
Idaho Missouri Pennsylvania 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 by 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 you 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! 

Not ready to talk about it? We’ve got your back! Our free digital coaching is tailored to your specific situation! Use our judgement-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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