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Only 13 percent of pregnant rape victims chose abortion according to new Irish figures

Recently, the Rape Crisis Network (RCC) released figures detailing pregnancies which had occurred as a result of rape in Ireland.

The RCC reported that 57% of the women went on to parent their child. 13% of the women gave their babies up for adoption or fostering, while 12% of the women suffered miscarriages or had stillbirths.

Only 13% of the women availed of abortion, and while the circumstances were tragic for both mother and baby, pro-life advocates said that the figures revealed "an entirely different situation to what public perception may be."

"We are told so often that pregnant rape victims want abortion that most people would expect these figures to be entirely reversed," said Niamh Uí Bhriain of the Life Institute. "I imagine that the public perception would have been that 87% chose abortion rather than the opposite.

"The courage and resilience shown by women in these dreadful circumstances is amazing," she continued. "It seems that, as found in a previous study, many women may feel that abortion would be another violation, and they choose to give life to the innocent party: the child conceived through rape."

The number of sexual assaults are dreadful, with a total of 1,545 people who had experienced sexual violence attending rape crisis centres around the country in 2010.

Of these, 75 - or about 5% - became pregnant as a result of rape.

Ms Ui Bhriain said that she hoped no pressure was brought to bear on the women who had chosen abortion, and that any counselling provided in the future to these women would not ignore the very real negative effects that arose following abortion.

"These are extremely vulnerable women: they should not be exploited to suit an agenda, by people who wish to deny any negative mental health outcomes following abortion" she said, pointing to the C case as an example of how abortion campaigners contrived to take advantage of a 13-year old rape victim to push for abortion.

The girl at the centre of the C case later revealed that she had not been fully informed as to what was happening to her when she was brought by social workers for an abortion against her parent's wishes, and that she had not given consent. No public inquiry has been held into the scandal.

The Journal reported that the figures were released by the RCC to coincide with "an event organised by the Irish Family Planning Association and the National Women's Council of Ireland to mark the lack of action on reproductive rights in Ireland in the 20 years since the X case".

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