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Study estimates that 64,000 women have become pregnant from rape in states that put in abortion bans after the end of Roe v. Wade

Study estimates that 64,000 women have become pregnant from rape in states that put in abortion bans after the end of Roe v. Wade
A stock image shows a pregnant woman touching her baby bump.
A stock image shows a pregnant woman touching her baby bump.d3sign/Getty Images
  • A study estimates that 64,000+ pregnancies caused by rape have occurred in states banning abortion.

  • The research aimed to look at how rape survivors are impacted by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

  • The study author said he was "horrified" by how many rape victims lacked access to abortions.

A study published on Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine estimated that over 64,000 pregnancies were caused by rape in the 14 states with abortion bans since July 2022.

Samuel Dickman, Planned Parenthood Montana's medical director, along with his team, attempted to quantify the number of rape-related pregnancies in states with abortion bans triggered by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The Supreme Court overturned the landmark ruling that legalized abortion across the US in June 2022, granting states the authority to determine their own abortion laws.

As it stands, 14 states have implemented total abortion bans following the Dobbs decision.

The study found that in these 14 states, an estimated 64,565 pregnancies were linked to rape.

The majority of these (91%) occurred in states without exceptions that allow for the termination of pregnancies in cases of rape.

According to the researchers, a significant proportion of these rape-caused pregnancies occurred in Texas — 45%.

To reach the estimates, the study used historic data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on nationwide incidents of vaginal rape and adjusted it to females aged between 15 and 45, using data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

The researchers then apportioned the nationwide data among states, multiplying the state-level estimates by the fraction likely to result in pregnancy.

They did this for a period between July 1, 2022 — the week after the Dobbs decision— and January 1 of this year.

Dickman, who is also a researcher at City University of New York, told NPR that his team was shocked by how high the number was.

"I was horrified," he told the news outlet. "Sexual assault is incredibly common — I knew that in a general sense. But to be confronted with these estimates that are so high in states where there's no meaningful abortion access? It's hard to comprehend."

The study acknowledged some limitations, including the difficulty of obtaining accurate data on "highly stigmatized experiences."

Rachel Perry, a professor of OB-GYN at the University of California, Irvine, who was not associated with the study, told NPR that it is also worth noting that not everyone who becomes pregnant from rape necessarily wants an abortion.

Nonetheless, Perry said that the study shows that even if the numbers aren't exact, "it is a huge problem."

Read the original article on Business Insider