Nine girls pregnant after rape had terminations in 2011

Rape Crisis Network figures show 45 per cent of pregnancies following rape cases involved under-18s

Fiona Neary, executive director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland said not all rape survivors seek or can access rape crisis centre support.

Fiona Neary, executive director of the Rape Crisis Network Ireland said not all rape survivors seek or can access rape crisis centre support.

Fri, Jul 12, 2013, 13:56

Forty under-18s reported becoming pregnant following rape in 2011, according to new figures released by the Rape Crisis Network Ireland.

Nine of the girls involved said they had terminated the pregnancy.

Some 45 per cent of all cases of pregnancy following rape reported to 15 rape crisis centres around the country in 2011 involved under-18s, the data shows.

Twentyfour of the girls involved went on to have their babies, with five deciding to give up the child for adoption or fostering. Seven of the girls miscarried or had stillbirths.

The figures also show that in 2011, a total of 90 women and girls reported they became pregnant following rape. Of the total figure, 17 terminated the pregnancy, 60 went to term, of whom 12 had their child adopted or fostered. A further 11 miscarried or had stillbirths.

Executive director of the network Fiona Neary said the abortion debate had included talk about the case of women who have been raped and are pregnant as a result.

“It is important this discussion is informed by the best available facts and a compassionate understanding of the realities facing these girls and women in Ireland,” she said.

The figures represented one part of the picture, she said, as not all rape survivors seek or can access rape crisis centre support.

The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 was passed by the Dáil in the small hours of this morning. The Bill legislated to allow termination of pregnancy in the case of a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother, including the risk of suicide. The Government ruled out extending the right to an abortion to women and girls who become pregnant as a result of rape.

An Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll last month found 81 per cent of those surveyed believed abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or abuse.