Adolescent Rape Victim Forced To Give Birth Tells The Horror Of Anti-Abortion Law
A soon-to-be seventh grader in Mississippi had no choice but to give birth to a baby after she was raped by a stranger, Time Magazine reports.
The teen, named “Ashley,” was forced to become a mom at a young age after Roe v. Wade was overturned after over 50 years by the Supreme Court in June 2022, restricting women’s rights to abortion.
Following SCOTUS’s ruling, on June 27, 2022, the Mississippi Attorney General certified the state’s trigger ban, which bans all abortions except to save the life of the pregnant person, or in cases of rape or incest that have been reported to law enforcement.
For weeks, Ashley didn’t say anything to her mom, “Regina,” but as her 13th birthday was approaching, she started experiencing some pain. Regina even asked her daughter if she was pregnant but received no response. Instead of celebrating Ashley becoming a teenager, mom and daughter went to the emergency room at Northwest Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale.
After her blood work came back, reports found Ashley to be almost 11 weeks pregnant. The hospital called the police and Ashley was forced to tell her mother what happened. While discussing the child’s options to terminate the baby, Dr. Erica Balthrop, an OBGYN, struggled with the fact that sending clients to abortion clinics in Memphis or Jackson, Mississippi, was no longer an option. The next option would be to send Ashley to a clinic in Chicago—nine hours away. Such a trip required money for expenses, including travel, lodging, and food, not to mention time off work for Ashley’s mother plus the price of the procedure.
“I don’t have the funds for all this,” Regina admitted.
This story tells the harsh reality of what some Black women are going through after Republican lawmakers in Mississippi issued a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy in 2018. After the Supreme Court ruling, Ashley’s home state along with several others, banned abortion in almost all circumstances. Since then, women’s reproductive health has been put at risk in more cases than one, like in Louisiana where a women was denied an abortion despite the fetus missing a skull, Black Enterprise previously reported.
In March 2023, South Carolina legislators were considering passing a bill that would give women the death penalty if they had an abortion.
There have been some states, including Mississippi, that issued exceptions for abortions, like rape, according to a report from the New York Times. Before Ashley gave birth to her baby, “Peanut,” she was unaware of this rule.