For Immediate Release: July 26, 2022
Contact: Jim McKay
Statement from Team For West Virginia Children / Prevent Child Abuse West Virginia
Forcing raped children to give birth is state sanctioned child abuse.
WV House Health Committee and House Judiciary Members have both REJECTED amendments to make exceptions to the criminalization of abortion in the case of incest or rape. This action to force raped children to give birth is state sanctioned child abuse.
Children deserve to be cared for and nurtured, so that they can grow up happy and healthy. Child abuse victims deserve access to trauma-informed services that help them heal – not be forced to endure a pregnancy and give birth to their rapist’s offspring. We have seen rape victims as young as 10 and 11 years old who need abortion services. These children are victims, and the medical professionals who care for them are not criminals.
Pregnancy creates serious health risks for adolescents and children and can be lethal. In fact, pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15-19 globally.
Our state should be investing in proven strategies that prevent the maltreatment and sexual abuse of children – not enacting laws that cause harm to victims of abuse. As an organization that has worked since 1986 to prevent child abuse and neglect throughout West Virginia, and as the official state chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, we strongly urge rejection of this legislation.