Pregnant 11-year-old rape victim in Ohio would be unable to receive abortion under new law
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An 11-year-old Ohio girl who was impregnated by her rapist would be unable to receive an abortion under a bill recently passed in the state that bans the procedure once a fetal heartbeat is detectable.
The young girl had reportedly been raped repeatedly by a 26-year-old man, CBS News reported, citing local police records. But under a new bill signed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) last month that bans women from obtaining an abortion once a fetus’ heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks in some cases, the young girl and others in similar cases would be unable to receive an abortion.
Though the young girl in this particular case will reportedly not be subjected to the state’s new abortion law while it remains pending, the case has brought light to future women and girls in similar circumstances that would forced to carry their rapist’s baby should the “heartbeat bill” take effect.
In the past several days alone, a number of publications in addition to CBS News, including The New York Daily News and The Chicago Tribune, have pointed to the 11-year-old’s case as an example of those who could be affected by the state’s new anti-abortion law.
According to FBI data obtained by CBS News, over 4,000 women in Ohio were raped back in 2017. However, as the publication notes, if either of those women became pregnant by their rapist, they would unable to obtain an abortion after a fetus’ heartbeat is detectable.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued a statement on the day the proposed law, which does not include exemptions for rape, was signed, saying: “Sometimes, the evolution of the law requires bold steps.”
“In the last 46 years, the practice of medicine has changed. Science has changed. Even the point of viability has changed. Only the law has lagged behind,” he continued.
Though the heartbeat bill in Ohio is scheduled to take effect in July, the ACLU of Ohio has said it will challenge the measure.
The bill’s passage comes as a number of other states – including North Dakota, Georgia, Arkansas, and Mississippi – have passed similar laws seeking to ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.