How do exceptions to abortion for rape and incest work?

A 10-year-old girl from Ohio has become a flashpoint in the ongoing national abortion debate after traveling to Indiana on June 30 to terminate a pregnancy resulting from rape. The girl was banned from having an abortion in her home state due to Ohio’s ‘heartbeat ban’, which prevents the procedure after about six weeks unless the life of the mother is in danger.

Ohio’s abortion law contains no exception for rape or incest, despite the fact that in this case, the victim’s pregnancy was irrefutable evidence that a rape had taken place; 10-year-olds cannot legally consent to sex. Generally, however, these cases are much more complicated legally. Here’s everything you need to know:

Which states have exceptions for rape and incest?

In Oklahoma, Idaho, North Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, South Carolina, Georgia and Iowa, abortion bans with exceptions for rape and incest are already in effect. into force or may come into force in the near future, pending the outcome of a court case. In Mississippi, abortion is prohibited with an exception for rape, but not incest.

In Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, and Ohio, abortion is (or soon will be) either banned or limited to a narrow gestation window without exception for rape or incest. Some of these laws have been blocked by judges or are being challenged in court.

In Indiana, abortion remains legal for 22 weeks, but Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) plans to convene a special legislative session later this month to tighten abortion restrictions.

How do the exceptions for rape and incest work?

Requiring an abortion seeker to legally prove rape or incest is an absurd requirement. Data from the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network shows that approximately 60% of rapes and sexual assaults go unreported to police. Only 24% of reported rapes – 9% of all rapes – end in a criminal conviction. It is also quite possible that the investigation and legal proceedings will take more than nine months. In the case of incest, it is even worse: an article published in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin cited estimates that only 20% of incest offenses are reported to law enforcement.

It is not always possible to medically prove rape. As Sian Ferguson wrote for everyday feminism, rapists often “subdue the victim or survivor by verbally threatening, intoxicating, or waiting until they are unconscious,” neither of which causes obvious physical harm. Rape kits also cannot distinguish between rape and rough consensual sex, or determine whether a partner withdrew consent during sex that began consensually. Medically proving incest would be less difficult, since paternity tests can be performed in utero as early as nine weeks.

The most prevalent rape and incest exception currently in effect is the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for most abortions but requires Medicaid funds to fund the procedure for rape, death, and other abortions. incest or danger to the life of the mother.

A Washington Post A 2012 report found that 20 states plus the District of Columbia only required a doctor’s note to prove rape for Medicaid purposes, while 11 required victims to file “a police report or social service agency. According to Job, doctors and patients found Medicaid paperwork cumbersome. Fewer than half of abortions performed on Medicaid recipients who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest or whose pregnancy was life-threatening were reimbursed by the program. Some got the procedure funded by a nonprofit, while about a quarter of Medicaid recipients seeking an abortion ended up giving birth instead. In 2009, the federal government funded only 331 abortions.

State abortion bans also vary widely in their terms of access to legal abortion in exceptional cases. Wyoming’s trigger ban, for example, includes exceptions for rape and incest, but does not specify any procedures for proving rape or incest. Giovanna Anthony, an abortion provider at Wyoming’s only abortion clinic, said Politics that she has read the law and consulted a lawyer, but is still unsure of the new rules. She said she couldn’t imagine telling a pregnant rape victim ‘you’re alone’, but she also ‘didn’t want to go to jail’.

Other states are simpler. Oklahoma law states that “a person shall not knowingly perform or attempt to perform an abortion unless: 1. The abortion is necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency; or 2 The pregnancy is the result of rape, sexual assault or incest that has been reported to law enforcement.”

According Politicsabortion clinics and funds in Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota and Wyoming – all of which have exceptions for rape and/or incest – have indicated that “it will probably be easier to getting patients across the state for an abortion than trying to erase the hurdles associated with getting one legally in their home state.”

Could women lie about rape to get abortions?

They might, but it’s unlikely to become mainstream. Most women are more likely to choose to get an abortion legally in another state, rather than risk going to jail for filing a false police report.

Famous, Norma McCorvey – the plaintiff nicknamed “Jane Roe” in the monument Roe vs. Wade (1973) decision – admitted in 1987 to “falsely claiming[ing] to have been raped in the hope of obtaining an exemption from the Texas law prohibiting the operation”, The Washington Post reports. Despite assertions sometimes remade that “the 1973 decision was made only because the plaintiff had falsely claimed that she had been raped”, Reuters quotes Caroline Mala Corbin, professor at the University of Miami Law School, who points out that “how [McCorvey] became pregnant was irrelevant to the question before the Court of whether she had a constitutional right to terminate the pregnancy.”

In Brazil, where abortion is illegal except in cases of rape, fetal anencephaly or danger to the life of the mother, there have also been notable cases of false police reports. However, most women seeking abortions in the country choose to obtain the procedure illegally rather than claiming to have been raped. Popular options include black market abortion pills, folk remedies, and underground clinics. More than 200,000 Brazilian women are hospitalized each year due to abortion-related complications.

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