Editor’s Note: After the publication of this story, police in Columbus, Ohio, charged an illegal immigrant named Gershon Fuentes with the rape of a 10-year-old girl who police say traveled Indianapolis to have an abortion. Ohio officials deny that the state’s so-called “Heartbeat law” law would have barred her from having the procedure.
Ohio‘s top law enforcement official said Monday he has found no evidence of the existence of the alleged 10-year-old rape victim who abortion advocates including President Joe Biden claimed had to flee the Buckeye State to terminate her tragic pregnancy.
The story generated sympathy and outrage in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to overturn Roe v. Wade, and give states the right to allow, regulate, or even ban abortion. But the central claim began to fall apart late last week amid a telling lack of crucial details. State Attorney General Dave Yost cast further doubt on the story in an appearance on Fox News.
“We have regular contact with prosecutors and local police and sheriffs,” Yost told Jesse Watters. “[There’s] not a whisper anywhere.”
Yost said he believes such a horrific case would not escape the attention of his office.
“My office runs the state crime lab,” he said. “Any case like this, you’re going to have a rape kit, you’re going to have biological evidence, and you would be looking for DNA. There is no case request for analysis that looks anything like this.”
Biden repeated a claim that seems to have originated in a July 1 Indianapolis Star report that quoted a doctor who said the girl was forced to travel to Indiana for her abortion. The doctor, Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist Caitlan Bernard, said she had been alerted by an Ohio “child abuse doctor” about the case. But Yost also pointed out that even after the Supreme Court’s ruling, Ohio’s so-called Heartbeat Law would have permitted an abortion in a case like the one described.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost just said that his office has no evidence of a raped ten-year-old child who was impregnated, including a request for lab results. He also noted that Ohio law would have allowed for an abortion in such a case.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) July 11, 2022
In his July 8 remarks, Biden said parts of the country are taking “a giant step backwards” in the aftermath of the high court’s ruling. He cited several states that have implemented what he deemed extreme abortion regulations.
“This isn’t some imagined horror,” Biden said. “It’s already happening. Just last week, it was reported that a 10-year-old girl was a rape victim in Ohio — 10 years old — and she was forced to have to travel out of the state, to Indiana, to seek to terminate the presidency (sic) and maybe save her life. That’s — the last part is my judgment. Ten years old. Ten years old. Raped, six weeks pregnant. Already traumatized. Was forced to travel to another state. Imagine being that little girl. Just — I’m serious — just imagine being that little girl. Ten years old.”
The Washington Post was among the first to note that Bernard was the only source for the story Biden cited, which went viral and was repeated around the world. The liberal newspaper also accurately noted that Ohio law would require a doctor to report any case of physical, sexual or emotional abuse or neglect of a child, whether proven or suspected, to the local child welfare or law enforcement agency. No such report has surfaced.
The Daily Wire on Saturday reached out to Yost’s office, who said the AG’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation “must be requested by a law enforcement agency or county prosecutor to investigate a potential crime,” and that it had “not been requested to assist in any investigation related to these allegations.”