New Research Estimates Thousands of Pregnancies From Rape
A report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has estimated that more than 64,500 pregnancies resulted from rape in the 14 states that enacted highly restrictive abortion bans since the overturn of Roe v. Wade in June 2022. Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the FBI, researchers estimated that 519,981 rapes occurred between July 2022 and January 1, 2024, in these states, resulting in the estimation of 64,500 pregnancies. The vast majority of the pregnancies, 58,979, occurred in the nine of fourteen states who did not allow exceptions for rape. The researchers reported that the data “indicates that persons who have been raped and become pregnant cannot access legal abortions in their home state, even in states with rape exceptions.”
New Project to Support Women and Girls in Afghanistan
UN Women and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have partnered to implement a project focused on empowering women and adolescent girls in rural Afghanistan. The initiative titled “Empowering women and adolescent girls in Afghanistan through literacy and skills development for sustainable livelihoods” is supported by the European Union (EU) and aims to provide access to education, skills development, and counseling services for illiterate and semi-literate Afghan women and adolescent girls. It is also expected to employ approximately 200 Afghan women as educators and support staff. Women in Afghanistan have suffered, facing restrictions on freedom of movement, employment, and education since the Taliban returned to power in 2021. The project will last one year and will support 3,900 women and girls.
Last Salvadoran Woman Released on Abortion-Related Charges
A Salvadoran woman who was given a thirty-year prison sentence after her child died shortly after birth is speaking out for the first time since her release on behalf of other women who have suffered obstetric emergencies and endured similar fates. The woman, Lilian, was charged with negligence and aggravated murder for allegedly failing to take proper care of herself during her pregnancy after her daughter died three days after being born in a public hospital. After serving seven years, a judge acquitted Lilian. She was the last woman imprisoned on such charges, though other women face court proceedings. El Salvador has a complete ban on abortion, including in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s health is threatened. Women who are found to have terminated their pregnancies face two to eight years in prison, and some can be charged with homicide and imprisoned for thirty years. Women who lose their pregnancies due to miscarriages, stillbirths, and other emergencies too often face these charges as well. “In the name of all my companions, I ask you to stop accusing and prosecuting other innocent women like me,” Lilian said.