Republican lawmakers and pundits have been obsessed with the story of a 10-year-old Ohio girl pregnant from rape who couldn’t get an abortion in her home state after its six-week ban took effect. The girl and her family were forced to travel to Indiana where abortion is legal (for now), and Indiana abortion provider Dr. Caitlin Bernard shared the ordeal with The Indianapolis Star.
Right-wingers weren’t, of course, obsessively talking about the story because of the horrific indignity of a child rape survivor having to travel to get an abortion, but because some of them were convinced that the entire story was fabricated in order to send voters to the polls this November. (Others claimed the girl could have gotten an abortion in Ohio because a 10-year-old staying pregnant would have caused “serious health risks”—but good luck getting a provider to risk criminal charges.) Mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal were more than happy to carry this water.
Now that Ohio police have arrested a suspect in the rape and these ghouls can no longer deny that the rape happened, we have the Indiana Attorney General barging in to threaten the abortion provider in a likely attempt to give his state more anti-abortion cred.
Republican AG Todd Rokita went on Fox News on Wednesday night to say that he is now investigating the abortion provider to see if she reported the rape to the state. “We’re gathering the evidence as we speak, and we’re going to fight this to the end, including looking at her [medical] licensure if she failed to report,” Rokita told Fox News host Jesse Watters, before Fox showed a photo of Bernard, the abortion provider.
Rokita added, “This is a child, and there’s a strong public interest in understanding if someone under the age of 16 or under the age of 18 or really any woman is having abortion in our state.”
Not only is this segment a dogwhistle for QAnon devotees hinting that pro-choice people are covering up pedophilia and child rape, it’s Rokita engaging in a dick-swinging contest with his Ohio counterparts, including Attorney General Dave Yost.
Yost, who cast doubt on the story on Monday, also on Fox News, by saying, “Every day that goes by the more likely that this is a fabrication,” released a brief statement after the rape suspect’s arrest: “We rejoice anytime a child rapist is taken off the streets.” Yost now looks like even more of a conservative hero, and Rokita’s right-wing manhood is now doubly threatened.
Rokita’s implicit message is: This abortion happened in my state after Ohio said no, and now I want to make any Indiana abortion provider afraid to help. We will not have women helping girls here, we will only have forced pregnancies.
It would be fun to laugh at these fragile male egos if they weren’t literally going to destroy people’s lives. Can’t they just have an old-school duel in the desert somewhere and leave the rest of us out of it?