Rape, Pregnancy and Abortion in Ireland – RCNI release new figures today

Today Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) release the latest figures on survivors of rape who were pregnant as a result, who had abortions.

 In 2011, of the 2,036 female survivors of sexual violence who attended a Rape Crisis Centre (RCC),

  • 90 girls and women became pregnant as a result of rape
  • 17 survivors, pregnant as a result of rape, terminated the pregnancy.
  • Two survivors became pregnant more than once as a result of rape and had different outcomes in each pregnancy.

Fiona Neary, RCNI Executive Director said, ‘in the abortion debate there has been some 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.

‘90 girls and women, who were pregnant after rape, were supported in Rape Crisis Centres (RCC) across Ireland in 2011. These numbers represent one part of the picture as not all rape survivors seek or can access RCC support.

 ‘It is also important to bear in mind that these numbers cannot tell us how, why and under what circumstances those outcomes came about. They do not tell us about a survivor’s circumstances, age, resources, access to information and support or their relationship to the rapist.

‘When drawing on the example of rape survivors an assumption can sometimes be made that the decisions are somehow simplified, feelings are straightforward and that moral and ethical complexities are largely nullified by the fact of conception through rape. This is not the rape crisis experience.

‘For many women and teenagers pregnancy resulting from rape can cause additional trauma and certainly complexities; these demand our greatest compassion. RCNI would urge commentators to remember this when they reach for the example of rape victims in the abortion debate.’


  • RCNI is the national representative body for the Rape Crisis Sector in Ireland
  • All statistics are from the RCNI Database©
  • Additional figures of the 90 girls and women who were pregnant after rape in 2011, 60 survivors went to term, of whom 12 had their child adopted or fostered. A further 11 miscarried or had stillbirths. Please go to www.rcni.ie/rcni-publications.aspx for full fact sheet with graph.