Rape is an incredible violation of a woman’s autonomy.
We still have a long way to go, but as a society, we’re getting better at supporting victims of sexual assault. In the abortion debate, survivors of rape who become pregnant are often used as bartering chips by both sides, but despite the significant numbers of women who experience pregnancy after rape, we rarely hear their stories.
Even rarer is hearing the stories of women who are forced to parent with their rapists, creating an environment of fear and re-traumatization.
Somewhere between 32 and 50 percent of people impregnated during sexual assault decide to keep their babies, which means 5,000 to 16,000 women each year birth children who are the products of rape.
Many current laws require a rape conviction in order to terminate parental rights of a rapist. These laws vary according to state, so the consequences are also different depending on where the attack happened. Complicating things further is the fact that rape is notoriously underreported and unpunished as a crime.