Occupation of the Womb: Forced Impregnation as Genocide

TitleOccupation of the Womb: Forced Impregnation as Genocide
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsFisher, Siobhan K.
JournalDuke Law Journal
Date Published10/1996

The conflict in the former Yugoslavia also raises a question beyond the criminal treatment of rape during war. For perhaps the first time in modern history, an aggressor in a military conflict may have used rape not only as a tool of war, but also to implement a policy of impregnation in order to further the destruction of one people and the proliferation of another: a policy of genocide by forced impregnation. Notwithstanding the prevalence of rape in the former Yugoslavia and its obvious connection with the resulting pregnancies, forced impregnation is a crime distinct from the crime of rape. Rape might be used to achieve forced impregnation, but forced impregnation can be perpetrated by means other than rape. This article argues that forced impregnation, as an intentional policy of an aggressor to destroy a group of people, is distinct from the crime of rape and is, at its core, a crime of genocide. 

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