Friday, August 24, 2012

Book of the Day: Victims and Victors

The Elliot Institute's book Victims and Victors was based on a survey -- one of only a few such studies ever done -- of 192 women who became pregnant as a result of rape or incest. 

Of the respondents, 164 were victims of rape and 28 were victims of incest (sexual assault involving a family member). Overall, 69 percent continued the pregnancy and either raised the child or made an adoption plan, 29 percent had abortions and 1.5 percent had miscarriages.

  • Nearly 80 percent of the women who aborted the pregnancy reported that abortion had been the wrong solution.

  • Most women who had abortions said that abortion only increased the trauma they were experiencing.

  • In many cases, the victim faced strong pressure or demands to abort. 43 percent of rape victims who aborted said they felt pressured or were strongly directed by family members or health workers to abort.

  • In almost every case where an incest victim had an abortion, it was the girl's parents or the perpetrator who made the decision and arrangements for the abortion, not the girl herself. In several cases, the abortion was carried out against her expressed wishes, and in a few cases, without her knowledge that she was pregnant or that an abortion was taking place.

  • More than 80 percent of the women who carried their pregnancies to term said that they were happy that they had continued the pregnancy.

  • None of the women who gave birth to a child conceived in sexual assault expressed regret or wished they had aborted instead.