The timing was as suspicious as the story was gut-wrenching, and my state's newspaper-of-record, the Indianapolis Star, had it first. Just days after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v Jackson remanded the issue of abortion back to state legislatures by properly recognizing that the U.S. Constitution has no, nor did it ever have any, presupposed "right to abortion" hidden inside its "penumbras," a 10-year-old Ohio girl allegedly fell victim to the Court's coldness.
The girl, according to reports, had been sexually abused and raped, resulting in a statistically miraculous emergency pregnancy. Since her tiny frame and undeveloped organs would not be capable of surviving a 9-month gestation and delivery, an abortion was deemed necessary to save her life.
But, it was reported, Ohio's anti-abortion "trigger law" that went into effect immediately following the reversal of Roe did not allow this little girl to access a "life-saving" abortion – although there is legitimate dispute about the accuracy of such an interpretation of Ohio's law (which does seem as though it would allow for such). Nevertheless, the harrowing tale concludes with the girl able to find "treatment" in the neighboring state of Indiana.
The Star reported it. Other pro-abortion media promoted it. The President of the United States repeated it. And then, that was it.
No discussion about who raped this poor girl, the investigation into the crime, or the appropriate punishments for them once they are found. In fact, discussion about this horrific situation never seems to go beyond its superficial application to the politics of abortion law. Conveniently, this account bears astonishing resemblance to one of the most frequently cited hypothetical cases progressives cite when trying to defend abortion-on-demand.
For instance, shortly after the Dobbs ruling, NFL quarterback Joe Burrow tweeted out his "concerns," that included this situation:
The coincidence, coupled with the lack of follow-up on the story, has led more than a few non-progressive journalists (yes, there are some), and commentators to begin digging into the account's veracity. PJ Media's Megan Fox did a remarkable job compiling it all (click to read the full thread):
After President Biden mentioned this girl's predicament, the Washington Post's "fact-checker" Glenn Kessler futilely attempted to prove the veracity of the account, eventually settling on just throwing up his hands and declaring that since everyone has reported it, it's part of the narrative now, so we all might as well just believe it to be true.
But that isn't okay for a number of reasons.
Being from Indiana myself, I am quite familiar with the abortionist and activist who is held out as the lone source for this story – Caitlan Bernard. She has quite a record of extremism in my state and beyond. Given her track record of advocacy over honesty, the skepticism many are now expressing is sadly appropriate. What's more, I used to write for the Indianapolis Star and experienced firsthand the progressive editorial influence of parent-corporation Gannett in determining what they cover and how they cover it.
The few contacts I had at the paper have since been let go due to budget cuts, and the general request I put in for a follow-up on the child rapist who perpetrated this heinous act has been unanswered to this point.
To be clear, this isn't a "gotcha" moment for the pro-aborts. Of course, if it does turn out they did concoct this story, the lying abortionist should be censured, the paper shamed, and the pro-abortion movement's already-dismal credibility should suffer another critical blow.
But suppose there is tragic merit to the story, and consequently this innocent 10-year-old girl is being used as a mere weapon in a larger war by forces who care little to nothing about her actual well-being. For all the talk about the need for "reproductive justice," this girl deserves criminal justice, and reporters, newspapers, and activists alike should be unwilling to rest until she gets it.
Play your abortion games later. For now, if one really exists, make the rapist known, make his crimes infamous, and let the public mete out swift, harsh, and appropriate justice. The fact that no one seems interested in doing so speaks to either their own confidence the story is a fable, or their own galling disinterest in justice. Neither is acceptable.
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