Breakpoint: Sexual Violence Should Not Be Used as a Rhetorical Weapon in the Abortion Debate

 By John Stonestreet - Posted at Breakpoint:

Last month, in the Journal of American Medicine, the medical director of Planned Parenthood Montana claimed that 64,565 babies had likely been conceived in rape in the 14 states where abortion is restricted since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. The claim was put forth as the results of a formal study, though the authors admit that “no reliable state-level data … are available,” and their numbers were “estimated.”

Unsurprisingly, media outlets quickly reported on the study as if it were evidence of a national emergency … a particular kind of national emergency. Without exception, every major news outlet framed this story as not about rampant sexual crime, but about abortion access. For example, CNN announced: “Tens of thousands of pregnancies have resulted from rape in states where abortion is not a legal option, researchers estimate.” Theirs is a disturbing angle to take on this story, if the numbers are accurate.

The authors of the study estimated that 12.4% of rapes result in pregnancy. If accurate, that means around 520,000 women were raped in just 14 states over a period of just 18 months. That is almost five times the number the FBI estimated for the entire nation during 2022, a number that appeared to be trending downward from 2021.

If accurate, shouldn’t the headline be that the United States, or at least the 14 states with abortion restrictions, are facing an unprecedented crisis of sexual violence? In other words, “abortion access” is nowhere near the major problem revealed by this report. But of course, it’s not.


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