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

Academic Article


  • 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. © 1992, SAGE PUBLICATIONS. All rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Shulman LP; Muram D; Speck PM
  • Start Page

  • 205
  • End Page

  • 210
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 2