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Studies show roughly 65,000 pregnancies due to rape have occurred since Roe V. Wade was overturned

Researchers estimate that roughly 65,000 pregnancies caused by rape have occurred in the past year and a half since Roe V. Wade was overturned due to a case called Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Roe V. Wade, a precedent that passed in 1973, protected a woman’s right in the United States to choose for themselves whether or not they wanted to terminate a pregnancy.

This decision caused a massive shift to reproductive rights in the US as this left it up to each state to choose if they want to ban the procedure.

Fourteen states decided to ban abortion immediately and only five of which allowed for exemptions for those who have been raped. Studies show that roughly 25 million women within childbearing age live in a state that had banned this procedure.

Dr. Sami Heywood, an OB/GYN from Illinois shares her opinion on the matter.

“Like many exceptions written into abortion bans, an exception for rape victims may appear to be a reasonable solution but in practice can create more trauma and danger for patients who have already experience a traumatic event. No other health care is reserved only for people who can prove a crime took place. That’s not an ethical way to practice medicine. It is cruel to force people who have already been victimized to jump through legal and logistical barriers that cause further harm,” declares Heywood.

Dr. Rachel Perry, an associate professor of OB/GYN at the University of California discusses why this does not work for every rape victim.

“Those who become pregnant after rape may take longer to recognize a pregnancy than other pregnant people, and there may be factors related to the trauma response that accounts for this,” discusses Perry.

It is also important to note that rape victims often know their assailant and may even live with them.


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