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98 Geo. L.J. 827 (2009-2010)
Giving Birth to a Rapist's Child: A Discussion and Analysis of the Limited Legal Protections Afforded to Women Who become Mothers through Rape

handle is hein.journals/glj98 and id is 833 raw text is: Giving Birth to a Rapist's Child: A Discussion
and Analysis of the Limited Legal Protections
Afforded to Women Who Become Mothers
Through Rape
Approximately 25,000 women become pregnant through rape each year In
response, many states have passed special laws, devised streamlined proce-
dures, or both, to aid pregnant women who seek abortions or wish to place
their rape-conceived children for adoption. However, few states have passed
laws to aid the large numbers of raped women who choose to raise their
rape-conceived children. Without such laws, in most states, a man who
fathers through rape has the same custody and visitation privileges to that
child as does any other father of a child. Moreover, as a result of this legal
void, raped women and their children are left to face substantial and poten-
tially terrible consequences. This Note argues that the absence of these laws
stems from the societal images and other rhetoric concerning the pregnant
raped woman that depict raped women as hating their unborn children and
viewing their rape pregnancies as continuing their rape experience. These
societal constructions have created a biased prototype of the pregnant
raped woman and of the prototypical rape pregnancy experience by which all
pregnant raped women are judged Women who raise their rape-conceived
children depart from the prototype and are, as a result, viewed with suspicion.
Legal protections, such as alternate custody rights, are then denied to them
because, being viewed as imposter rape victims, it is thought that there is
nothing special about these women or their conceptions requiring any change
in the manner in which custody and visitation determinations are made.
INTRODUCTION   ..........................................                828
A LIFETIME TETHERED TO THEIR RAPISTS ........................ 831

* Georgetown Law, J.D. 2009; University of Chicago, A.B. 2004. © 2010, Shauna R. Prewitt. I
would like to thank Professor Jane H. Aiken for her tireless hours of feedback on this Note and for her
stimulating seminar on motherhood and criminality in which earlier versions of this Note were
developed. This Note is inspired by and dedicated to Isabella, who has always been worth it.

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