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US states that ban abortion have had nearly 65 000 pregnancies from rape, data show

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: (Published 26 January 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q223
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. New York

An estimated 64 565 pregnancies have resulted from rape in the 14 US states with total bans on abortion, says a research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine.1

The researchers wrote, “Thousands of girls and women in states that banned abortion experienced rape-related pregnancy, but few (if any) obtained in-state abortions legally, suggesting that the rape exceptions fail to provide reasonable access to abortion for survivors.”

Victims of rape who become pregnant in states with abortion bans sometimes seek a self-managed abortion or try to travel—often hundreds of miles—to a state where abortion is legal, but this leaves many without a practical alternative to carrying the pregnancy to term, the authors added. The right to abortion was overturned by the US Supreme Court in June 2022, which returned abortion decisions to the 50 states. Nearly half of states have since restricted abortions.2

Researchers from Planned …

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