NINETY GIRLS AND women became pregnant as a result of rape in 2011, the Rape Crisis Network has revealed.
It has released new findings on survivors who became pregnant as a result of rape. The figures show that 90 girls and women became pregnant as a result of rape, and that 17 of these women terminated the pregnancy.
Two survivors became pregnant more than once as a result of rape and had different outcomes in each pregnancy.
Rape Crisis Centres
Fiona Neary, RCNI Executive Director said:
In the abortion debate there has been some talk about the case of women who have been raped and are pregnant as a result. It is important this discussion is informed by the best available facts and a compassionate understanding of the realities facing these girls and women in Ireland.
The 90 girls and women were supported in Rape Crisis Centres (RCC) across Ireland in 2011. “These numbers represent one part of the picture as not all rape survivors seek or can access RCC support,” said Neary.
She said that these numbers “cannot tell us how, why and under what circumstances those outcomes came about”.
“When drawing on the example of rape survivors an assumption can sometimes be made that the decisions are somehow simplified, feelings are straightforward and that moral and ethical complexities are largely nullified by the fact of conception through rape,” continued Neary. “This is not the rape crisis experience.”
For many women and teenagers pregnancy resulting from rape can cause additional trauma and certainly complexities; these demand our greatest compassion. RCNI would urge commentators to remember this when they reach for the example of rape victims in the abortion debate.
Yesterday saw the final of three hearings by the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health and Children on the issue of abortion legislation in Ireland.
The Rape Crisis Network 24 hour helpline is 1800 77 88 88.