USA – Why rape exceptions in abortion bans are more complicated in reality

Only four states with abortion bans allow the procedure due to rape.

By Mary Kekatos, Video by Jessie DiMartino
August 19, 2022

Since the Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade in June, several states have enacted strict abortion bans.

At least 15 states have ceased nearly all abortion services and an additional four states have bans that have been blocked in court and are undergoing legal challenges.


Exceptions to Abortion Bans May Be Hard for Women to Access

‘In terms of how these things work in practice, they don't,’ says one expert regarding exceptions to abortion bans due to rape or health risk.

By Sharon Lurye
June 3, 2022

Abortion is a divisive issue in America’s culture, but there is something that the country largely agrees on: Even if a state bans abortion, four out of five Americans agree that there should be exceptions to the law if the mother’s life or health is in danger, and for victims of rape and incest.

Yet people rarely discuss how such exceptions would work in the real world. Who would decide whether a pregnant person’s life is truly at risk? What would survivors need to do to prove they were assaulted? A close reading of anti-abortion laws in 18 states reveals that even with these legal safeguards in place, many people will still face significant hurdles to getting an abortion in cases of rape, incest and medical emergencies.


USA – Abortion Bans Are Disregarding the Lives of Sexual Assault Survivors

By removing even exceptions for rape from their anti-abortion legislation, Republican politicians are finally starting to say the quiet part out loud.

By Kylie Cheung
Feb 22, 2022

Anti-abortion politicians have always been clear on one thing: Abortion is murder. But for years, this “logic” hasn’t held up against their occasional concession that abortion bans make exceptions for rape. Of course, if these politicians genuinely believed that abortion is murder, they wouldn’t allow any concession at all. Instead, they have long used the rape exception to have it both ways, claiming to simultaneously care about women and also be “pro-life”—two antithetical positions to take.

This dynamic is beginning to shift. Since the much-publicized feud between Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and fellow Republican Rep. Nancy Mace last December over whether abortion bans should include rape exceptions at all, a string of recent proposed and enacted state abortion bans have been made in Taylor Greene’s image more so than Mace’s.


The Abortion Bans Aren’t Just About Repealing Roe v Wade

The Abortion Bans Aren’t Just About Repealing Roe v Wade

The extreme, dangerous anti-abortion laws in Ohio, Alabama, and Georgia are serving as a distraction from the Right's real agenda: closing every last loophole to abortion access once ‘Roe’ is overturned.

Robin Marty
May 15, 2019

It is 2019 and abortion is still legal. Yes, in each and every state in America.

This seems like something that shouldn’t need to be announced, yet here we are. Over the past few weeks we’ve seen abortion restrictions hit a fever pitch, with Georgia and Ohio signing so-called “heartbeat” bans, which would make abortion illegal within about two weeks after a missed period), and a ban that criminalizes abortion at conception passing in both chambers of the Alabama legislature, which is expected to be signed by the governor.