Law Students for Reproductive Health present "Giving Birth to a Rapist's Baby"

Thursday, April 12, 2012 - 12:15pm - 1:15pm
Room II

While a student at the University of Chicago, Shauna Prewitt's life changed forever. The victim of sexual assault, Shauna soon learned that she was pregnant from her attack. After deciding to continue the pregnancy and raise her child, Shauna was shocked when her attacker sought custody of the baby girl. Shauna was even more astonished when she learned that few legal protections exist to protect the women who mother through rape. Without such laws, men who father through rape may assert the same custody rights over their rape-conceived children as other fathers.

Inspired by these events, Shauna committed to do what she could to change the custody laws around the nation. A graduate of Georgetown Law, Shauna set out to answer why only a handful of states have legal protections in place that restrict the parental rights of men who father through rape. The results of Shauna's years-long analysis culminated in the publication of the first and only scholarly piece examining the legal protections afforded to women who mother through rape: "Giving Birth to a Rapist's Child: A Discussion and Analysis of the Limited Rights Afforded to Women Who Become Mothers Through Rape," 98 Geo. L.J. 827 (2010).