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4,500 pregnancies from rape are estimated in Oklahoma since total abortion ban

Protestors stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in October 2021.
Gayatri Malhotra
Protestors stand outside the U.S. Supreme Court building in October 2021.

Editor's note: This article contains mention of sexual assault.

Oklahoma’s total abortion ban doesn’t allow exceptions for rape, and a new paper shows an estimate of how many pregnancies have resulted from rape in the state from July 1, 2022 to Jan. 1, 2024.

Data from the CDC, Bureau of Justice Statistics and FBI crime reports were analyzed in a paper by JAMA International Medicine covering 14 states with laws banning abortion at any stage of pregnancy. In Oklahoma, it’s estimated 4,529 girls and women ages 15-45 have had rape-related pregnancies during the past 18 months.

Overall, the state has an estimated 36,475 rapes in the past 18 months.

The paper also estimates that after Roe v. Wade was overturned, 64,565 rape-related pregnancies have occurred in these states with total bans. Five of them have exceptions for rape, but obstacles prevent some from accessing legal abortions, including limits based on how far along the pregnancy is and requirements to report the rape to law enforcement.

The only exception to Oklahoma’s abortion ban is to preserve the life of the mother. Some state lawmakers have filed bills to further restrict abortions in the 2024 legislative session beginning Feb. 5.

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Jillian Taylor has been StateImpact Oklahoma's health reporter since August 2023.
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