Counseling Sexual Assault Victims Who Become Pregnant After the Assault: Benefits and Limitations of First-Trimester Paternity Determination

Lee P. Shulman, David Muram, Patricia M. Speck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Women who are sexually assaulted and who are purposely attempting to conceive face difficult decisions should they conceive during the time frame of the assault. Under such circumstances, women may elect to terminate the pregnancy if the assailant is determined to be the biological father, whereas most women would probably elect to continue the pregnancy if her intended partner was determined to be the biological father. This article describes a patient with a 2-year history of infertility who, after being sexually assaulted during the cycle of conception, used first-trimester chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and DNA studies for paternity identification. DNA analysis indicated that her husband was most likely the biological father; she elected to continue the pregnancy and was delivered of a healthy male infant. Despite a slight increased risk for pregnancy loss resulting from prenatal invasive procedures and potential inaccuracies of DNA paternity testing, prenatal DNA paternity testing can be offered to victims of sexual assault who become pregnant during the time frame of the assault.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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