Forced Pregnancy versus Forcible Impregnation: A Critical Analysis of Genocidal Rape during War/Armed Conflict.

Citation:

Banwell, Stacy Louise. 2019. "Forced Pregnancy versus Forcible Impregnation: A Critical Analysis of Genocidal Rape during War/Armed Conflict." Paper presented at the 75th American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting, San Francisco, November 13-16.

Author: Stacy Louise Banwell

Abstract:

Forced pregnancy and forcible impregnation are contested terms in relation to genocidal rape. The International Criminal Court (ICC), for example, defines forced pregnancy as ‘the unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly made pregnant, with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any population’ (Rome Statute of the ICC, 2011). Whereas, The Holy See suggests that the Statute need only criminalize the act of forcibly making a woman pregnant and not the subsequent act of forcibly keeping her pregnant. Thus, they suggest the term forcible impregnation rather than forced pregnancy (Grey, 2017). This paper unpacks the implications of the ICC’s definition of forced pregnancy in relation to the rape and sexual slavery of Yazidi women in Iraq and Syria. Evidence suggest that ISIS engaged in a genocidal campaign against the Yazidis. Many women and girls were forcibly impregnated, resulting in unwanted pregnancies (Genocide Network, 2017; Human Rights Council, 2016). However, forced impregnation (as defined by the ICC) cannot be applied to this case. Drawing on Grey’s (2017) notion of ‘reproductive violence’ - violence that violates reproductive autonomy - I review international criminal law and the reproductive justice available to women and girls raped and impregnated by ISIS.

Keywords: law, rape

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Girls, Genocide, Health, Reproductive Health, International Law, International Criminal Law, Rights, Reproductive Rights, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq, Syria

Year: 2019

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