Indiana’s Republican Attorney General has announced an investigation into the OB/GYN doctor who provided an abortion to a 10-year-old Ohio girl who was raped. Ohio’s six-week trigger ban went into effect after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade when the girl was six weeks and three days pregnant. The onset of the trigger ban forced her parents to take her out of state to neighboring Indiana to get an abortion.
Attorney General Todd Rokita told Fox News:
“We’re gathering the evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the end, including looking at her licensure if she failed to report. And in Indiana it’s a crime…to intentionally not report.”
Rokita is referring to Dr. Caitlin Bernard, who has come out publicly as the physician who performed the abortion. Contacted by a child abuse doctor in Ohio, Rokita held to her Hippocratic oath.
The rape and pregnancy were initially derided as a “hoax” and questioned by right-wing media and state authorities including Fox News and the Attorney General of Ohio. They cited what they said was “no evidence” that the rape had occurred. But that was debunked when reports emerged of her rapist having been arrested, forcing Republicans to walk back their accusations and statements.
In discussing the case, President Joe Biden condemned Ohio’s law restricting safe and legal reproductive health care for the most vulnerable.
“She was forced to have to travel out of the state to Indiana to seek to terminate the pregnancy and maybe save her life. Ten years old – 10 years old! – raped, six weeks pregnant, already traumatized, was forced to travel to another state.”
President Biden is not alone in his outrage. His sentiment was echoed by many across the country, confirming the worst case scenario that abortion and women’s rights advocates have been screaming about.
Dr. Bernard put out a statement on this most painful of cases, brought to her attention just three days after the right-wing extremists on the Supreme Court stripped half the country of their reproductive healthcare rights, saying:
“My heart breaks for all survivors of sexual assault and abuse. I am so sad that our country is failing them when they need us most. Doctors must be able to give people the medical care they need, when and where they need it.”
But unfortunately, the investigation by the Indiana Attorney General may be all that’s needed to insure they won’t.
Original reporting Myah Ward at POLITICO.
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