Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said his office has not found any evidence of a 10-year-old rape victim in the state who, according to a report cited by President Joe Biden, was six weeks pregnant and traveled to Indiana to receive an abortion.
“Not a whisper” has been heard of a report filed for the 10-year-old rape victim, as an Ohio provider would be required to report any case of known or suspected physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect of a child under state law, Yost said Monday.
“We have regular contact with prosecutors and local police and sheriff’s. Not a whisper anywhere. Something maybe even more telling, Jesse, my office runs the state crime lab. Any case like this, you’re going to have a rape kit, you’re going to have biological evidence,” Yost told Fox News host Jesse Watters. “There is no case request for analysis that looks anything like this.”
The Indianapolis Star reported the story of a 10-year-old girl who was denied an abortion in Ohio and traveled to Indiana for the procedure after the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade. Part of the story focused on an Ohio doctor who called an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist for help. The 10-year-old was said to be six weeks and three days pregnant.
“Now, the doctor in Indiana isn’t in our jurisdiction. Obviously, we don’t know who the originating doctor in Ohio was, if they even exist, but the bottom line is, it is a crime if you’re a mandated reporter to fail to report,” Yost said.
Yost also argued the victim would have been able to obtain an abortion under Ohio law, which makes abortions illegal when a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically around the six-week mark. The state’s law provides exemptions in cases of life endangerment or severely compromised physical health.
“This young girl, if she exists and if this horrible thing actually happened to her, breaks my heart to think about it. She did not have to leave Ohio to find treatment,” Yost said.
On Friday, Biden expressed outrage over the 10-year-old’s case, criticizing Ohio’s restrictive abortion laws.
“She was forced to have to travel out of the state to Indiana to seek to terminate the pregnancy and maybe save her life,” Biden said, according to the Washington Post. “Ten years old — 10 years old! — raped, six weeks pregnant, already traumatized, was forced to travel to another state.”
Attempts to verify the validity of the case, which made global headlines, have so far appeared to fall flat, with several fact-checking sites unable to corroborate the story independently.
“With news reports around the globe and now a presidential imprimatur, however, the story has acquired the status of a ‘fact’ no matter its provenance. If a rapist is ever charged, the fact finally would have more solid grounding,” the Washington Post wrote in an analysis of the story.