The Importance of Proper Care

In the article, Practices Regarding Rape Related Pregnancies In U.S. Abortion Care Settings, Rachel Murphy, M.D., MPH, Molly Murphy, MPH, Kristin M. Rankin, PhD, Allison Cowett, MD, MPH, Bryna Harwood, MD, MS., observe the process of post-assault care for rape victims and the ramifications of rape. Murphy et al. (2015) report the care patients currently receive in many clinics and hospitals and they support their claim by collecting data and statistics of rape related pregnancies and abortions through out the United States. 

Murphy et al. (2015) support their claims by providing the reader with multiple scientific findings conducted by them, as well as national data collected acquired from other sources. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists emphasizes on the importance of proper patient care for those who were victims of sexual assault. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists insist that proper patient care “includes attention to acute physical trauma, counseling and provision of emergency contraception if indicated, mental health care, and tests or prophylaxis for sexually transmitted infections.” These are some of the most crucial procedures that many clinics fail practice and provide to women. 

Murphy et al. acknowledge that often many people overlook some of the serious results of rape, such as “physical injury, sexually transmitted disease, and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse.” The authors insist that the stigma attached to rape makes it difficult for women to ask for help. This is not only because rape victims are often afraid or feel shame, but also because physical and psychological trauma play a major role in their decision making. The authors remind us that many women are only aware of very few options available to them. However, the authors believe physicians and primary care providers have the resources and encourage them to provide women with more help, not only in physical checkups, but also in emergency contraceptives to prevent pregnancies, counseling and support for their mental health. 


Statistics of rape victims throughout different races. Image via Google.


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