A 10-year-old girl just over six weeks pregnant had to travel to Indiana to obtain an abortion after she was denied the procedure in her home state of Ohio, the Indianapolis Star Tribune reported Saturday.
The appalling situation for the child rape victim will likely be repeated countless times now that the U.S. Supreme Court last month eradicated the half-century-old right to an abortion by reversing Roe v. Wade. States are now allowed to ban the procedure.
The girl was referred for an abortion on Monday, three days after the Roe decision, to Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Caitlin Bernard, she told the Indy Star. Bernard had been contacted by a colleague, a child abuse doctor in Ohio, who had determined that the girl was six weeks and three days pregnant, according to the newspaper.
The girl was soon en route to Bernard’s care. There were no other details about her situation.
Ohio prohibits an abortion when so-called fetal cardiac activity begins, around six weeks. Several groups filed a lawsuit seeking to block the state law from taking effect on Wednesday. But an emergency stay of the abortion ban was rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court Friday, which means the ban can be upheld while the case is being reviewed, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Future sexual assault victims like the 10-year-old will likely soon not have the option to travel to Indiana for an abortion.
Indiana lawmakers are expected to further restrict or ban abortions. The Indiana General Assembly will convene in a special session July 25 when it will discuss changes to the law.
Until then, doctors are reporting a major increase in the number of out-of-state patients desperately seeking to terminate a pregnancy now that abortions are banned in their states.
“It’s hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks we will have no ability to provide that care,” Bernard said.
Bernard could not immediately be reached for comment by HuffPost.
Another 10-year-old who was raped and pregnant was also battling for an abortion recently — in Brazil. A judge tried to persuade her to carry her fetus to term. Couldn’t she stand to be pregnant “a little while longer”? Brazilian Judge Joana Ribeiro Zimmer asked her, The Washington Post reported.
When that didn’t work, Zimmer ordered that she be removed from her family and kept in a shelter to protect the fetus. The girl finally obtained an abortion late last month.
Need help? Visit RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.